Ferrari has revealed its 2013 Grand Prix challenger, the F138, to the awaiting media at a launch ceremony in Italy. The event was attended by the entire Ferrari race team, including test and development drivers Jules Bianchi and Pedro de la Rosa.
It is the 59th Formula 1 design to have been produced by the famous Italian team, which will be hoping to return regularly to the winners’ circle in 2013.
Described as an ‘evolution’ of its predecessor, the F2012, the F138 retains the pullrod suspension design used last year.
With much of the aerodynamic development of the car having been performed in the Toyota wind tunnel (brought about by the team’s decision to renovate its own facility), the F138 is by and away no beauty prize winner.
Easily the ugliest of the four teams’ cars unveiled to-date, the F138 has a very boxy, geometric layout at its front end, although mercifully it has opted to do away with the ‘stepped nose’ design concept.
The biggest changes have come at the rear of the car, which features a substantially revised exhaust layout and air intake changes around the airbox and sidepods.
The team will undoubtedly be targeting a vastly improved pre-season build-up, after the F2012 proved to be woefully uncompetitive as the 2012 season kicked off. That being said, Fernando Alonso managed to claim excellent wins at Malaysia and Valencia to keep himself in the championship hunt until the very end.
“The key objective that we must have is of immediately delivering a competitive car to our drivers,” Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali admitted.
“Unfortunately in recent years we have at the beginning of the winter not been able to be right on top of what we are doing.
“We have tried to look at our organisation to be much more effective in the preparations over the coming week.”
Alonso will again be partnered by Felipe Massa, with the Brazilian securing a late one-year contract extension after finally finding some form in the latter stages of the 2012 season. Massa will be awarded the main driving duties at the opening pre-season test next week at Jerez, while Alonso remains away from the cockpit as he embarks on an intensive fitness camp programme.