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Video: James Allison explains the philosophy behind the F14 T

NEWS STORY
25/01/2014

Though he was only really involved in the latter stages of its conception, Ferrari Technical Director, James Allison talks of the philosophy behind the team's 2014 contender.

"The F14 T began life more than two years ago," he explains, "in order to give us sufficient time to do the 'ground up' redesign of every aspect of this car.

"Followers of the Scuderia," he continues, "will see some of the heritage of our earlier designs, the pull-rod front and rear suspensions being the most obvious example. However, beyond these superficial similarities there is very little to connect the F14 T to any of its predecessors.

Although the external changes to the appearance of the car are already substantial they are small compared to the changes that are going on beneath the skin. Underneath the bodywork the cooling system needed to be completely reinvented compared to the year before. It's much more complicated and we had to make a very careful decision to make the right choice between engine power and downforce."

For those who believe F1 is still too reliant on aerodynamics, the Englishman has some bad news. "The rate of development that we will have aerodynamically through the season will be very steep," he admits. "And the importance of aerodynamics to the championship is going to be at least as important as the differences in power levels between the various engine manufacturers.

"However, if I had to choose what is likely to be the dominant factor in 2014, I would choose neither the level of power nor the aerodynamic development," he admits, "I would say that this year reliability is going to be absolutely fundamental.

Despite the challenges faced, Allison admits that 2014, with its raft of new rules, is an engineer's dream.

"To start with a clean sheet of paper, a completely new project, a complex and difficult project, and to be able to design from nothing the entire layout of a very difficult and complex car, that, for an engineers, is like Christmas every day.

In Formula One everything is always a fight," he says, "you fight at every level; managing projects, trying to find small developments on the car, investing in your people, the infrastructure, in the factory. It's a continuous process . However, I'm lucky to have arrived here at the end of a period of very heavy investment in the tools that we have at the factory, big investment in the windtunnel, big investment in all of the dynos that we use... and that investment is going to see Ferrari set fair to prosper in the coming period.

Check out the F14 T gallery, here.

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