With less than a day to go until it’s unveiled, Ferrari has confirmed their new F1 car is called the F138 – the fifty ninth car built by Ferrari to compete on the highest stage of motor sport.
Derived from a combination of the current year (13) and the number of cylinders (8), Ferrari chose the name to mark the last year in which the V8 engine configuration will be used in Formula 1 (something of a silent protest perhaps?), bringing to an end an eight year period in which V8 engines replaced the distinctive-sounding V10 F1 engines.
Next year of course, Formula One adopts a more efficient 1.6 litre, turbocharged V6 format, putting Ferrari and McLaren out of sync with the “race on Sunday, sell on Monday” notion that car makers traditionally like to espouse in their marketing blurb.
With its fifty eight previous cars, the Scuderia is the only team to have taken part in every year of the Formula One championship and holds all the records in terms of titles won (31: 15 Drivers’ and 16 Constructors’) Grand Prix wins (219) pole positions (207) and fastest race laps (228).
The Scuderia will begin testing the new F138 at Jerez, Spain on the 5th February, with Felipe Massa doing the honours. Massa will be joined by Ferrari’s new test driver Pedro de la Rosa, who gets his chance to drive the 2013 car 8th February after first spending several days in the simulator at Maranello. Fernando Alonso will not attend the first test, choosing instead to focus on his physical fitness and preparations for the season ahead.
You can stay in touch with the F138 launch by following @InsideFerrari on Twitter.