Here is a short article to explain what are the main technical differences between the F-V12 (Season 12) and the F-Ultimate (Season 11).
1. Engine : Natural aspirated v. Turbo hybrid
The engine is the main difference between the F-V12 and the F-Ultimate.
The F-Ultimate is equiped with the 1.6 V6 Turbo Hybrid, which is the new generation of engine. It is used in F1 since 2014 and fans are not really about it. It's not noisy, but it's very powerfull : 936 hp @ 10.800 rpm !!! The Turbo allows the F-Ultimate to reach a great torque : 636 Nm @ 9 500 rpm. The V6 Turbo is one of the most powerfull of F1 ever built. But we should not forget that this engine is very heavy (because of Energy Recovery System, batteries, and turbo implemented...). Other point we should not forget about the Ultimate engine : fuel consumption is very low. That's the main reason F1 has decided to go with those engines.
The F-V12 engine is a classic 3.0 liters V12. No ERS, no turbo, just a pure atmospheric engine. This engine is supposed to emulate the screaming Ferrari V12 engine. This sounds is one of the favourite for the Formula 1 fans. The engine has an higher fuel consumption so that means you should put more fuel on your car... Fortunately, refuelling is allowed so you don't have sandbagging your V12 !
2. Gearbox : Fixed v. adjustable
This is the most interesting change in my opinion.
The F-Ultimate had a fixed gearbox. You could not adjust your gears as you wished. This was quite good for people who don't really know how to set up a car, because a good gearbox is a crucial part of setup making.
Meanwhile the F V12 will give you freedom again to set your gears as you wish... This will give an opportunity for good setup makers to take an interesting advantage during the season.
3. Mass : Light is right
Because of the heavy engine, the Ultimate is heavier than the V12 : 728 kg for the Ultimate, 595 kg for the V12. Every F1 driver will be happy to drive a lighter car.
The F-Ultimate is a great machine because it features : DRS, onboard ajustable roll bars and brake bias. And we should not forget about the ERS which gives you a "boost".
The V-12 is a skittish car because of the FIA regulations that have been decided between the F1 1993 season and the F1 1994 season. Active suspensions, traction control, anti-lock brakes, automatic gears and fly-by-wire are banned. Basically, we can say there are no "technologies" in this V12. This should give a smile for racers.
The F-Ultimate has been designed to be the fastest F1 ever built : powerfull engine, good technology onboard... And best aero possible ! The F-Ultimate sticks to the road and produces a lot, lot lot of downforce. In some occasions, the Ultimate makes corners irrelevant. Driving around Suzuka and Silverstone, in the high speed corners has been much appreciated for this MF1 season.
Meanwhile the FV12 is not the best car in terms of downforce. Wings don't produce much downforce (20 front / 10 rear). The rear of the car is not grippy, and we don't have electronic aids to help... So it makes the car tricky to drive. That's why a good setup maker will be needed in every team. With less aero, we should see some drivers less comfortable... Don't be surprised to see more driving mistakes this season.
6. Tires : Pirelli v. Goodyear
F-Ultimate is equipped with Pirelli tires. We all know Pirelli tires and the 5 compounds choice : Ultra Soft, Super Soft, Soft, Medium, Hard... This was really interesting because strategy was the key to win races last season. With the high degradation, it was interesting to try the "undercut", or to try to last tires longer than your opponent. The large Pirelli gave to the Ultimate a lot of mechanical grip to go with the great aero grip.
It is an all different story for the Goodyear which will be used this season : only one compound available. So you don't have to try all the compounds to set your winning strategy. Moreover, there are no high degradation. That means tires won't be a crucial part of the race strategy. Of course, a driver who is kind with his tires will always be able to take a some kind of advantage, but this should not make the most important point.
CONCLUSION : Everything is going to change...
The Ultimate and the V12 are very very very different, but you all know this. It's not only different in terms of grip or laptimes, it's different in every aspect of racing : starts strategy, qualifying runs, racing incidents and mistakes... The V12 switch will give a bigger place for the "setup makers". In the same time, some drivers will be very (less aero, less technology = just racing / practicing), meanwhile some others will surely regret the comfortable Ultimate.
However that should not change the classic hierarchy of MF1 : the fastest guys will remain fastest no matter what you do. You can expect to find Matt Drummond and Ricky Rando fighting for championship.
Anyway, we all agree to say this is going to be another great season of MF1 (and now MF2) !!
Debut : Australia, Melbourne (MF1 Season 11)
Grand Prix : 17
Championships : 0 (Best result : 3rd)
Wins : 1 (First win : Austria MF1 Season 13)
Podiums : 9
Poles : 1
Fastest laps : 1
Teams : Manor-Ferrari (MF1 Season 11), McLaren-Peugeot (MF1 Season 12, 4 GP), Toyota (MF1 Season 13, 1 GP)