Italian technical journalist Giorgio Piola has struck again, releasing some details of the new Ferrari due to be launched at Maranello on Friday February 3rd.
The car has been described as “ugly” by Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo and it’s certainly a new departure from the DNA of Ferraris of recent years, but all there are agreed that if it’s fast enough, it will certainly be beautiful!
Among the indiscretions Piola has published in Gazzetta dello Sport today are that the suspension is a pull-rod system, the first on a Ferrari for 11 years. This is what Red Bull has been using since 2009 and many others have followed.
It works well with a lower nose and allows a lower centre of gravity on the car. At the rear it allows the back to sit low, clearly part of Ferrari’s strategy for coping with the loss of the blown diffusers.
The new rules, lowering the nose on the cars, means that the nose droops down.
The drivers are more reclined in the new Ferrari. The sidepods are very narrow and the crash structures to protect the driver are in two wing like shapes in front of the leading edge of the sidepods, above the radiator inlet line. In addition to meeting the crash requirements, they will clearly have an aerodynamic function.
All the teams are working on innovative sidepod ideas to try to get the best possible airflow to the rear of the car to make up for the lost downforce from the banning of the blown diffusers. Sidepods offer quite a bit of freedom to the designers.
According to Piola the front and rear wings at the launch will be old specification, not the 2012 ones.
The exhaust outlets will be at the lower end of the range specified in the new rules, blowing across the bottom profile of the rear wing. But there is a development plan, apparently, to move to what McLaren and Red Bull is believed to be doing, which is to exit the exhausts high up, to blow across the top profile.
The car, under the guidance of technical director and former McLaren designer Pat Fry, is the work of Nikolas Tombazis, with legendary Ferrari designer Rory Byrne a significant contributor in the background. It’s believed that Byrne is behind the innovation on the protective structures in the form of a wing in front of the sidepods.
Last year there was a lot of imagery around the launch of the pride of Italy, celebrating its 150th Anniversary.
Although the political tone might be lower this year, the team and particularly Montezemolo, will be well aware that Italy needs something to be proud of at this difficult time, with the economy in crisis and the recent sinking of one of its cruise ships another embarrassing episode for the country.