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Ferrari reveals F138 racer – and demands a quick start
Ferrari has presented the F138, the car it hopes can hit the ground running in the 2013 Formula 1 season following a rather slow start to the campaign last year.
Team boss Stefano Domenicali admitted “the key objective we must have is of immediately delivering a competitive car to our drivers”.
Domenicali went on to say that the problems last year were born out of making a slow start during the off-season, a mistake he and his team are determined not to make again.
The F138 name comes from a combination of the current year, the number of engine cylinders and the final year of competition for the V8 engine configuration. It’s the 59th car built by Ferrari specifically for the Formula 1 World Championship.
The F138 is the first car to be developed following an internal restructuring which saw the creation of two distinct groups of designers within Ferrari. One group has worked on the F138 and the other has worked on a completely different car which will race in the 2014 season. No chance of Ferrari making a late start next winter then?
Whilst every single part of the F138 has been revised in some way, Ferrari maintains that the new car is simply an evolution of the F2012 car. The focus has been on maximising performance but at the same time ensuring reliability is maintained.
The suspension has been untouched, but has been refined at the limit as Ferrari tries to gain as much aerodynamic advantage as possible.
The rear of the car, which is much narrower than before, has been altered to allow for a repositioning of the exhausts, with the air intake above the cockpit redesigned to maximise aerodynamics and maintain cooling properties.
So it’s more of a nip and tuck exercise for Ferrari going into 2013 – the relentless desire to shave a few milliseconds off each lap time. Reading between the lines, weight reduction and rigidity were the primary focus for the F138. Each one of the six thousand components honed to perfection.
Ferrari now has 12 days of testing available before the start of the new season in Australia next month. The F138 will make its track debut at Jerez next week, with Felipe Massa and development driver Pedro de la Rosa the first drivers to put the car through its paces.
No doubt Massa and his teammate Fernando Alonso will be keen to discover how the new car and its new Pirelli tyres feels on track.
With three 2013 season Formula 1 cars launched, there’s a real sense that the championship is just around the corner. And we can hardly wait.
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