Friday, February 8, 2013

Will the F138 be Ferrari's Key to 2013 Formula 1 Glory?

Photo credit: Ferrari North America
From what was seen in the Australian Grand Prix opener in 2012, the season appeared to be a write-off for the Ferrari F1 organization. Concerns immediately mounted that the F2012 race car was too unstable to be competition in competition. However, with lead Scuderia Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso collecting three victories and taking a firm hold of the drivers point standings over the course of Formula 1's summer break, the sight of the glorious red cars were actually far more apparent than originally thought. The 2012 season for Ferrari's Formula 1 program was also better than originally thought for second driver Felipe Massa. Facing much outcry early in the season as many questioned the Brazilian's performance compared to that of Alonso, it appeared to many that the only people believing that Massa and Ferrari were going to end the 2012 together was the team and driver. Ten consecutive finishes in the top-10 and a strong second place result at the Japanese Grand Prix silenced critics. Overall ending the 2012 Formula 1 season in distant second place to Red Bull Racing in the Constructors' championship, Ferrari wants it all heading to the 2013 tour.

The F138 nameplate is a combination of the second two digits in the current year and the cylinder of the eight-cylinder Ferrari engine. Entering 2013 with the same driver line-up (with the addition of Pedro de la Rosa to the test pilot roster), the efforts have been squarely focused on finding a successor to the Ferrari F2012. Introduced just ahead of the Formula 1 team's Jerez test, the Ferrari F138 was presented in an unveiling including special effects. Detailing a metamorphosis, Ferrari's newest Formula 1 machine evolved from a hologram into the F138 race car. It is the desire of Scuderia Ferrari that the birth of the new car will be the key to championship triumphs for both driver and manufacturer.

A car said to have involved a complete rethinking of each component that made the F2012, the Ferrari F138 Formula 1 contender has undergone many changes. Conforming to new front wing and weight rules set by the Formula 1's sanctioning body, engineers and specialists have worked hard to enhance the performance of the new Ferrari race car. The rear portion of the F138 has been refashioned to minimized rear drag while other remarkable changes have resulted in modifications to the air intakes and the reworked braking system.

Ferrari North America

Head of Production Department Corrado Lanzone described two priorities to the development of the F138 race car as being weight reduction and miniaturisation. Although the FIA regulates the minimum weight of Formula 1 machines, reducing the vehicle's overall weight allows teams to place ballast in key areas during a race weekend. Movements towards miniaturisation of components has meant the Ferrari F138 will be aerodynamically efficient compared to the vehicle last season.

Visually, black is more prominently featured within the new paint scheme of the Scuderia Ferrari cars in 2013. Echoing hints of the 1980s and 1990s era vehicles campaigned in Formula 1, the number '3' will be worn by Fernando Alonso and the number '4' will be driven by Felipe Massa.

Heading into 2013, Scuderia Ferrari will be anxiously hunting their 17th constructors' title.

Video provided by Ferrari YouTube channel

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