Ferrari launches the new F138 in Maranello

Ferrari F138 2013

This is the new Formula 1 car that the Scuderia hopes it can mount a serious challenge in this season’s world championship.

Ferrari presented its F138 at Maranello and has been developed with the aid of the ex-Toyota windtunnel in Cologne following the team’s decision to shut down its own unit in order to upgrade it.

The F138, whose name is a combination of the current year and a tribute to the V8 engines that will be used for the final time this season, is the 59th Grand Prix single-seater produced by the Italian outfit.

Ferrari hopes that the new car will be quick and trouble-free following a dismal performance by its predecessor when it made its testing debut last year.

Despite the issue, the historic Italian outfit managed to stay in the championship fight until the end of 2012, with Fernando Alonso losing out to his Red Bull Racing rival Sebastian Vettel in the season finale in Brazil by three points.

Alonso and Massa F138

For the fourth year in succession, Ferrari has retained the driving talent of the 2005/06 world champion Fernando Alonso with the 2008 runner-up Felipe Massa.

Team principal Stefano Domenicali described the car as an “evolution” of the car, which the team raced in 2012 and said it represented the “first step” in the team’s development for this year.

The F138 retains the pull-rod front and rear suspension used on last year’s car. According to the Scuderia, the car’s bodywork has been redesigned to improve its aerodynamic performance, a key weakness of recent Ferraris.

F318 side

The Kinetic Energy Recovery System has been revised and lightened. However Ferrari stressed they are keen to repeat the high levels of reliability they enjoyed with the F2012.

After securing a one-year contract extension thanks to his resurgence in the second half of the 2012, Felipe Massa will have the unique opportunity to shakedown the F138 for the first time during testing at Jerez.

Two-time world champion Alonso will be partnered by Felipe Massa again this year after the Brazilian secured a one-year contract extension thanks to his resurgence in the second half of the season.

Let’s hope the new car will perform well and can challenge for race wins and possibly the drivers’ title in the upcoming season.

5 thoughts to “Ferrari launches the new F138 in Maranello”

  1. Double world champion Fernando Alonso is feeling positive that missing the first round of pre-season testing at Jerez was the right decision. has the details.

    Fernando Alonso has no doubts that his decision to skip the first Formula 1 pre-season test will pay off.

    The Spaniard will not drive Ferrari’s new F138 until the second test at Barcelona, with Felipe Massa and Pedro de la Rosa being the only drivers running at Jerez next week.

    Alonso wants to use the time to get himself in peak physical shape ahead of a championship that he expects will be much tighter at the front than 2012 was.

    “I will follow the tests with great interest and all the information that comes back from Jerez I will be looking at,” said Alonso at the launch of Ferrari’s new car in Maranello on Friday.

    “In the next few weeks I will certainly be concentrating on preparing for the championship. I was busy [with the team] in December and January, and up until a week ago we were involved in activities.

    “So, it is right to step back and prepare a bit so I am 100 per cent from Australia to Brazil. We are lucky in this team to have a real good level of trust between us. We trust each other explicitly. We have an extended team; we are not just one person…”

    Alonso’s consistency in 2012 helped him fight for the championship until the final round in Brazil, as the victories were shared between six different teams in a wide-open campaign.

    But he thinks that with fewer technical rule changes this winter to shake things up, the forthcoming campaign will be different.

    “I think it will be very difficult to repeat what we saw last year, with seven winners in the first seven races, I think that really was a one-off,” Alonso said.

    “With the new rules F1 was more different. In the second half of the season, with things more stabilised, the top teams emerged. Those that had won in the last few years, they came through.

    “I think there will be two or three teams that will practically win all the races, and we have to be one of those teams.”

  2. Ferrari believes the priority for its 2013 car must be to match its rivals at the front of the field, rather than surpass them.

    Fernando Alonso narrowly missed out on the world championship to Sebastian Vettel last year, but the team’s 2012 car was rarely on the pace of the other frontrunning teams.

    Speaking at the launch of Ferrari’s F138, team boss Stefano Domenicali said the Italian outfit had to be realistic with how much progress it could make over the winter.

    “The main thing is to make available to Fernando and Felipe [Massa] a competitive car,” he said.

    “I don’t think we can expect a car that is much faster than the others – this would be fantastic.

    “We have to keep our feet on the ground and have a car that is equal to our competition.”

    Domenicali described some of the changes from the 2012 car as “extreme”, and Alonso added that it would be impossible to judge the team’s hopes for this year until the car hits the track in testing.

    “The difference at the front is just tenths,” said Alonso, “tenths you cannot see by looking at the car.

    “Sometimes you don’t know why a particular car holds sway. We need to get on track and really see how competitive it is.”

    Domenicali also pointed out that the decision to cover up the step in the car’s nose with a new-for-2013 ‘vanity panel’ was for performance reasons.

    “We wanted to go in that direction because the whole project is to improve performance in that area,” he said. “And it is more beautiful!”

    This is what AUTOSPORT features editor Kevin Turner had to say on the Ferrari:

    It’s clear from Ferrari’s launch that the team is trying to keep a lid on expectations for 2013.

    Although there was talk of the car being more radical – to push the rules as hard as the team feels some of its rivals have done in recent years – everyone was careful not to get too carried away.

    That is almost certainly due to the problems experienced with the F2012 in testing at the start of last year. Both Felipe Massa and Ferrari boss Luca di Montezemolo talked of the awkward conversation they had when the Brazilian first drove the car.

    “I called him to tell him the truth – things were not going well at that time,” said Massa. “I hope it will be a different experience this year.”

    Then there’s the issue of developing a car and engine for the new 2014 regulations as well as fighting a 2013 campaign, something Stefano Domenicali believes will be a difficult balancing act.

    “A big team has to focus very soon on 2014,” he said at the launch. “It is a big change and is very, very complex.

    “It will be important to focus on our targets for 2013, but at a certain stage of the season we have to make sure we have the right people on the project for 2014.”

    Domenicali knows producing a car that is superior to everything else is unlikely, thanks to the rules stability and the pace of the Red Bulls and McLarens at the end of 2012.

    What he is hoping for is that the F138 will put Alonso on an even footing with the likes of Sebastian Vettel, and that the team and the Spaniard – most people’s top driver of 2012 – can do the rest.


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