On Friday, February 1, Ferrari unveiled the new single-seater with which Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa will fight for the 2013 Formula 1 World Championship.
The new car is named the F138, with the first two digits standing for the year (2013) and the “8” for the number of cylinders as well as the eighth season the team is using that configuration.
With F1 switching to V6 turbocharged engines, the project 664 (as it is code-named) is a development of last year’s F2012 rather than a clean-sheet design. Of course, practically every one of its nearly six thousand components has been revised for maximum efficiency but the basics, such as the suspension layout and the engine, follow the same philosophy.
As head of the production department Corrado Lanzone put it, there were two main priorities during the F138’s development, weight reduction and miniaturization, while Luca Marmorini, the head of engine and electronics, said that the Scuderia worked on improving on the F2012’s already exemplary reliability.
The most noticeable change is at the rear, which is much narrower, while the Drag Reduction System (DRS) on the rear wing has been optimized and the single control unit that will be mandatory for 2014 has been introduced one year early.
Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo said the F138 is “hopeful” and he is optimistic that it will be competitive from the first race due to the attention that has been paid to every detail, especially in the aerodynamics.
As for the engines, he once again expressed his opposition to the 2014 change: “A V6 engine is not part of the Ferrari tradition and in the name of the F138 we are paying homage to the eight cylinder engine and the fact that this is the last year we will use it. I continue to maintain, for economic, musical and power reasons that it would be better to stick with eight cylinders. But the decision has been taken to build the V6 and, in fact, I’m sure Ferrari is capable of building the strongest V6 in the world.”
Surprisingly, Ferrari used Toyota’s wind tunnel instead of its own because, as di Montezemolo explained, the team “had doubts as to the correlation of data from the wind tunnel and the track”, so they closed it down and will rebuild it in time for the summer break.
You can scroll down for the image gallery and the video of the F138 official launch.
By Andrew Tsaousis