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