The Ferrari Virtual Academy, the carmaker’s first online virtual simulator, made its debut during the Italian Grand Prix in the paddock of Scuderia Ferrari. The engineers and drivers of the Scuderia Ferrari, Alonso, Massa and Fisichella, collaborated to create the virtual simulator. The Ferrari Virtual Academy lets the user experience all the sensations of driving an F10 virtually on his or her PC. In fact, it is the only virtual simulator for PCs that accurately replicates the F10, the single-seater that competes in the Formula One World Championship. For the first release, fans throughout the world will be able to compete with each other on the Fiorano circuit, with Mugello and Nürburgring circuits to be made available later.
The Ferrari Virtual Academy was developed with the goal to create a version of the simulator that trains Scuderia Ferrari’s drivers. Ferrari analyzed data from the car, the aerodynamic effects, tire characteristics and behavior of the chassis-suspension system and engine as well as all elements of the transmission. The development team spent 12,000 hours and consulted with 15 experts.
The team also utilized 3D graphics technology and data processing used for the first time on a product of this type. The Ferrari drivers tested the simulator personally to optimize its performance. The cockpit and steering wheel of the F10, as well as all its controls and functionality, were reproduced on the simulator. It’s remarkable that even the neck tension that the driver experiences during the race can be reproduced on the simulator. To get this perspective, the team studied videos filmed by the drivers that come from the helmet cam. The real and virtual telemetric data of the F10 were compared using circuits reproduced through laser scanning to make sure that they match up. For the driving experience to be as real as it could be, the team analyzed the simulated laps to achieve targeted interventions and refine the dynamic behavior.