Page 20 - Dallara Magazine

Super Formula
Engineer Biasatti, what stage is the
SuperFormula project at? A few months
ago you told us you were expecting a
rather “demanding” winter: Was it more or
less difficult than you expected?
We are in the final stages. We have been
producing of a large part of the
components since the beginning of
February, we have just started laminating
the first chassis and we expect to start the
type testing very
shortly. To this end,
we have already
carried out some
preliminary tests,
with positive results».
What can you tell us
about the tests that
have been carried
out up to this point?
We have done a lot
of work on the
simulator, and
Honda and Toyota
have both been here
for two sessions,
together with their
engineers and
leading drivers:
Takuya Izawa for
Honda and Kazuki
Nakajima (ex
Williams F1) for
Toyota. They were
very important tests
that provided us with
a lot of information
and interesting ideas.
The SF14 is the first
car that we have
defined “virtually”;
i.e. defining the
principle design parameters before we even
writing the first line of the project, and it
has proved to be a highly efficient way of
working. This new approach is a definite
advantage for the project».
As you mentioned before, several Japanese
drivers have been to Varano in order to try
out the simulator: can you tell us
something about their reactions and
maybe a couple of
anecdotes during
their visits?
The first driver to
try the simulator
was Nakajima who
already had some
experience of other
simulators and so
had some idea of
what to expect. This
meant that he was
ready to go right
from the start
without any need for
acclimatisation. A
few weeks later it
was Izawa’s turn. He
had never been in a
simulator before so
needed to be
broken in”; but
after a couple of
hours he was
already fully
operational. Both
drivers carried out
the same tests, so as
not to give either an
advantage over the
other, completing
over 100 laps a head. In order to establish
a frame of reference, they tested their
current cars on the Suzuka track, after
which they tested various configurations on
the SF14. Some of these were then adopted
as solutions to be implemented on the
real” car: this is the great advantage of
the simulator, the fact that it is possible to
be certain about various aspects of the
configurations before taking them out onto
the track. Both drivers’ times were the same
as they regularly achieve on the track, but
more importantly the feeling was the same
as they are used to experiencing in the real
cars. Normally, when drivers use the
simulator for the first time, they tend to say
things like “the simulator did this, or that”.
However, when they really start getting
used to it, this changes to "...the car under
steers, the car hasn’t got enough
traction…”: this means that the simulator
is really doing its job and that the drivers
feel as though are driving a real car: and
this is exactly how the Japanese drivers
What are the most challenging aspects
of the regulations?
Our main challenge involves implementing
the FIA F1 2010 safety regulations; but the
real challenge lies in packaging the car
itself. The fact that we had to install a Kers,
the servo-steering, two different engines,
and three pedals instead of two, caused no
end of headaches…. Nevertheless, it’s
proving to be a stimulating project and
very rewarding from a technical point of
How is the collaboration with Honda and
Toyota engineers responsible for designing
the engines organised? How stimulating is
it working with someone from such a
diverse industrial and sporting
Quite apart from their technical abilities,
what strikes you straight away is the spirit
of competition between them. We are in
constant contact with them, and there is a
continuous exchange of information; we
have never had any problems and