Ferrari revealed their new Formula One car in Maranello this morning, in the presence of Luca Montezemolo, Fiat chairman John Elkann and Fiat and Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne.
It’s the fifty ninth car built by Ferrari to compete in Formula One and is more of an evolution from last year’s F2012, in terms of its basic design principals.
The name F138 is derived from a combination of the current year (13) and the number of cylinders (8) used in the F138 – Ferrari chose the name to mark the last year in which the V8 engine configuration will be used in Formula 1, bringing to an end the eight year period in which V8 engines have been used.
The car is the work of a team overseen by chief designer Nikolas Tombazis and his deputy Simone Resta, working under the guidance of Technical Director Pat Fry.
Ferrari’s focus has been on creating a strong package for the first race, reversing the pattern of recent years where the car becomes most competitive mid-way through season.
The project, which goes by the internal code name 664, is the first design to come from the reorganisation concerning working methods that has been in operation for several months, with the creation of two distinct groups of designers: one working on this car and the other on the completely different car which will race next season.
With only twelve days of testing available before the start of the Championship, the team heads to Jerez, Spain next week for the first pre-season running of its new car. Felipe Massa will be joined by Ferrari’s new test driver Pedro de la Rosa, while Fernando Alonso has chosen to focus on his physical fitness and preparations for the season ahead and will drive the car at a later test.
Alonso has already been criticised by the Italian media, but was unapologetic at this morning’s launch. According to Andrew Benson (@andrewbensonf1), BBC Sport’s chief F1 writer, the journalist asked Alonso “..convince me what I said was stupid” to which Alonso smiled, paused for effect and just answered “I’ve nothing to say on that point.”
Ferrari chose this morning’s launch to announce a series of new commercial partnerships, most notably the arrival of its first Chinese sponsor, Weichai Power. The strengthening of commercial ties with watch maker Hublot and anti-virus company Kaspersky Lab, while energy drink TNT has moved on from being an Official Supplier to be a Scuderia Sponsor.