MARANELLO, Italy – Ferrari has launched the car with which they hope to capture the 2013 Formula One drivers’ and constructors’ championships.
The F138 – the name denotes the current year and the car’s V8 engine, which will be used for the last time this season – was unveiled at the Italian team’s Maranello headquarters on Friday.
With limited changes to the regulations for 2013, the F138 is an evolution of last year’s race-winning car, although every single part has been revised in order to maximise performance while maintaining the characteristics which were the basis of the F2012’s superb reliability.
Ferrari has retained the front and rear pull-rod suspension set-up introduced last year, refining it further for maximum aero advantage, while the car’s bodywork elements have been redesigned to allow for changes to the positioning and layout of the exhausts.
The rear of the car is much narrower and more tapered than before. The configuration of the front and rear wings derives directly from the last versions used on the F2012, partly because development of that car ran all the way to the final race of last season. However, significant modifications will be introduced to the car’s aero package in the weeks leading up to March’s season-opening Australian Grand Prix.
The drag reduction system (DRS) on the rear wing has been revised and optimized to make the most of the modifications to the sporting regulations that come into play this year, with use of the system now limited to the designated DRS zones in every session of the race weekend.
The kinetic energy recovery system (KERS) retains its location in the lower-central part of the car, a strategic choice which has always been adopted by the team, partly with the aim of ensuring maximum safety. A great deal of effort has gone into reducing its weight and size, at the same time improving the efficiency of some of its components.
On the electronics front, Ferrari have interestingly chosen to introduce – ahead of schedule – the single control unit that will be used in 2014. This has involved a lot of work to integrate and control all its features in terms of both software and hardware.
The F138 will make its track debut at the first pre-season test at Jerez in Spain next week, with Felipe Massa at the wheel. Teammate Fernando Alonso will get his first taste of the car at the following session in Barcelona from Feb. 19.