Ferrari Unveils New F138 Formula 1 Car
- The Ferrari F138, the Italian automaker's 2013 Formula 1 car, debuted on Friday.
- The name comes from a combination of the current year and the number of cylinders, to mark the fact that this is the eighth and final year of competition for the V8 engine configuration, said Ferrari.
- Ferrari aims to improve on last year's second-best finishes in driver and constructor points.
MARANELLO, Italy — The Ferrari F138, the Italian automaker's 2013 Formula 1 car, debuted on Friday.
The name comes from a combination of the current year and the number of cylinders, to mark the fact that this is the eighth and final year of competition for the V8 engine configuration, said Ferrari.
Ferrari aims to improve on last year's second-best finishes in driver and constructor points.
Ferrari became the third team to unveil its 2013 Formula 1 car in recent days. The F138 is the 59th F1 racing car built by the Italian company.
Like Lotus, which presented its new car via online broadcast Wednesday, and McLaren, which conducted the first live presentation Thursday, Ferrari's goal is to knock Red Bull off the pinnacle of grand prix racing.
Ferrari last year came closest of all to accomplishing that achievement, with Fernando Alonso taking 2nd place to champion Sebastian Vettel and the Scuderia claiming 2nd in constructor points, ahead of McLaren.
It is generally conceded that Alonso and teammate Felipe Massa (7th in driver points) overachieved in the red cars last year.
Alonso won three races, and his third championship might well have been lost in a catastrophic first-lap crash triggered by another driver in the Belgian Grand Prix; Vettel prevailed by only three points in a desperate charge in the season finale at Brazil.
But close does not count, and Ferrari — F1's most glamorous and also its most enduring marque — remained in search of a first constructor's championship since 2008 and a first driving title since 2007.
The general stability of technical rules may help Ferrari in getting off to a faster start than last year's F2012 car, a point emphasized by team principal Stefano Domenicali in his remarks Friday morning.
"We need to be competitive from the start of the season," he said.
The point was further emphasized in language in a press release, stating that "every single part has been revised in order to maximize performance, while maintaining all the characteristics which were the basis of last season's extraordinary reliability."
Alonso will miss the first test session February 5-8 at Jerez, Spain. Massa will handle driving duties in the first shakedown runs of the F138.
Also on Friday, Force India introduced its VJM06 racing machine at Silverstone, England.
Next launches: Sauber (Saturday), Red Bull (Sunday) and Mercedes and Scuderia Toro Rosso (Monday) prior to the beginning of testing the next day at Jerez.
Edmunds says: Its string of domination notwithstanding, Red Bull's edge is a tenuous one. Any improvement in pace, along with sustained bulletproof endurance — and not getting caught up in other drivers' errors — could lift Ferrari back to the top of the heap.