A racing car is beautiful when it wins, but if the opposite were true, the 499P would already have guaranteed success. The Hypercar from Maranello has received the approval of the international audience for the elegance mixed with aggressiveness that transpires from its bodywork, in which you can perceive the touch of the Centro Stile directed by Flavio Manzoni. However, it would be wrong to think that the Prancing Horse designed its car exclusively for aesthetics, because the attention to the design came only after the technical foundations of the project had already been laid.
The design setting was supervised by the engineer Ferdinand Cannizzo, trying to optimize each area not bound by the dictates of the technical regulation. The standards set limit values for load and aerodynamic resistance that the car must respect in all conditions of use, as the height from the ground, the roll, yaw and pitch angles vary, as well as the incidence of the adjustable appendages. In a regulatory framework in which absolute aerodynamic performance is fixed, the goal is to stay there as close as possible in all driving conditions: “Aerodynamic efficiency is constrained, so the load-to-drag ratio is imposed”, explains engineer Cannizzo a Formulapassion.it. “What matters is working on the shape of the map, to ensure that, with the same overall efficiency, it is possible to make good use of the aerodynamic load in all possible combinations, thus reducing the load losses as the set-up changes. We need to make the aerodynamic map as consistent as possible in all conditions of use, from slow to fast corners”.
The GT Competition department of Maranello has thus evaluated the ideal concept to achieve the much precious consistency. The philosophies taken into consideration also include the setting without rear wing adopted by Peugeot for its 9X8: “We tried to understand what it could lead tobut in the end we decided to go towards a solution that was in some ways more conventional and that in others allowed us to achieve the goals we set ourselves”. In terms of aerodynamics, one of the most outstanding features of the 499P is the high number of stabilizer appendages located along the car body: “The fins are linked to the achievement of the yaw stability criteria of the car for safety reasons”explains Cannizzo. “There are criteria included in the regulation e the fins have helped a lot in this regard”.
As already illustrated in the presentation phase, the Prancing Horse hypercar is powered by a hybrid power unit at the center of which resides the internal combustion engine derived from the 296 GT3:“The power unit consists of a six-cylinder internal combustion engine and shares the same architecture with the 296 GT3. It is a V6 with a bank angle of 120°, with the two turbos positioned in the center of the cylinder banks. The engine can release a power to the wheels of 680 horsepower, the equivalent of 500 kW, limited by the regulation, and is coupled with an energy recovery system. This consists of a 900 V battery and an electric motor with a single-ratio differential on the front axle. In this way we are able to store electrical energy during braking to return it later. We work with four-wheel drive above a speed set by the regulations”. When asked if the two counter-rotating compressors also reach 180,000 rpm on the 499P as on the 296 GT3, Cannizzo replied: “We are on the same orders of magnitude”.
For the storage of electricity in Maranello, an accumulator has been developed which takes advantage of the technology developed in Formula 1. Although the assembly was handled independently by the 499P technical department, the fundamental units such as the cells derive from those developed by the Sports Management: “We used their knowledge, because we saw that the sizing of the Formula 1 battery was similar to that of our Hypercar. So we joined forces and they gave us a big hand in the development of the power pack. In general, we have benefited from all that Formula 1 technology is”. Once the presentation is complete, the gaze now turns to the track, where Ferrari will be called to face off against Toyota starting from a non-negligible disadvantage in terms of accumulated mileage: “Time spent on the track, but also experience, they’ve been there for many years. Maximum respect therefore, it will be difficult to reach their level, but we have to try”concluded Cannizzo.
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WEC / Ferrari 499P, word to engineer Cannizzo: “The Peugeot concept has been evaluated” | FormulaPassion.it
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