Today’s Gazzetta Sportiva, the Sunday edition of the Gazzetta dello Sport has a full page dedicated to revealing some details of the 2010 Ferrari which will be launched later this month in time for the Valencia test from 1-3 February.
It looks pretty aggressive, judging from the drawing by F1’s pre-eminent technical journalist, Giorgio Piola. He is not always right but after over 40 years in the business and with some impeccable contacts at Ferrari, we can be fairly confident that the information is valid.
Piola suggests that there are strong echoes of last year’s Red Bull, arguably the most successful car aerodynamically of 2009, the area where Ferrari got it wrong. The cockpit top is higher than last year’s car and the nose has a step in it, like last year’s Red Bull, the diffuser is also said to be similar to the Red Bull.
To accommodate the new rules, the fuel tank is said to be double the size of last year’s at 240 litres, almost six times the size of a Fiat Punto tank, the paper points out. This means that the wheelbase is 15cm longer than the 2009 car. Allowing for the higher minimum weight (620kg) and the full fuel tanks, sitting on the start line of the race, the car will be 185 kilos heavier this year, which is 30% more than last year! That is going to give the brakes a seriously hard time at tracks like Bahrain and Montreal.
The 2010 cars will have narrower front tyres, as per the new rules and this will mean that the weight distribution will have to move rearwards a bit and it will affect the aerodynamics down the vitally important channel between the front wheels and the cockpit. The wheel covers have been banned.
The oil tank has been moved from in front of the engine to behind it, to allow for the enlarged fuel tank.
In a separate story, there is a suggestion in Gazzetta that USF1 has applied to the FIA for a derogation to miss the early fly away races and start at the Spanish Grand Prix in April. This contradicts USF1 sporting director Peter Windsor’s assertion last week that the team will definitely be in Bahrain. It’s Sunday today, but I will follow this up when the offices open on Monday.