If Scuderia Ferrari drivers Alonso and Massa don't do well in qualifying next year, it won't be because they didn't have the best tools with which to practice. Ferrari has built a driving simulator that could well be the Ferrari of driving simulators. It took two years to build, is 18-feet high, takes up two stories and received assistance from Moog, a control systems maker primarly known for its work wit the U.S. military's F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.
The sim rests a base that, by itself, weighs two hundred tons, and on top of that are a platform and actuators that support the aluminum and composite driving structure. The driver watches his progress on five displays good for more than 180 degrees of viewing, and hears his progress through a 3,500-watt Dolby 7.1 Surround Sound system. It has ten microprocessors and 60GB of RAM, and produces 5GB of data per day.
Oh, and it puts out 130 kW of power. Some perspective: the average American home is said to use 25 kW of power a day. Ferrari will hope it helps power at least one of its drivers to the crown.