You’re looking at Ferrari’s latest Formula One car, a racer that will be the eighth Ferrari F1 car with a V-8 engine and one that Ferrari team manager, Stefano Domenicali says will challenge for the World title from the first race. “The key objective we have is of immediately delivering a competitive car,” he told press at the unveiling.
If the new Ferrari F138 can challenge for honours straight away, there’s a good chance that it could improve on the 2012 season in which Fernando Alonso finished 3 points behind triple-World Champion Sebastian Vettel in the title race. Last year the Scuderia clocked some impressive times in testing but found themselves nearly 2 seconds off the pace when the lights went green at the first round in Australia.
This year the playing field could be a bit more level, as there are no regulation changes like the banning of exhaust-blown diffusers that scuppered teams last season, so this Ferrari has been designed with lightweight and better traction in mind.
The F138 is basically an evolution of the F2012. The suspension at the front has been developed to improve aero efficiency and is entirely new. The bodywork tappers towards the rear and is narrower around the exhaust system. A new smaller KERS system also aid aero efficiency.
There won’t be anywhere near as much carry over from this 2013 car to the 2014 car, as the regulations mandate a 1.6 litre V-6 turbocharged engine. But the integrated TAG 320 ECU, which will give teams a bit more freedom than the outgoing model as only 75% of it is standardised across all teams, will get its first use in the F138.
The next step for the F138 is a test in Jerez. Although the Scuderia are taking their new car to Spain, their Spanish driver will skip the test preferring to begin his testing schedule at Barcelona on 19th February.