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Details emerge of new Ferrari F1 design
Details emerge of new Ferrari F1 design
Posted By: James Allen  |  10 Jan 2010   |  5:29 pm GMT  |  101 comments

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.

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What do you make of the rumors in the German press that the F2010 is lacking in aero efficiently?


Hope not for their sake!


Appologies I just don’t see how they can know things like that before running the car. I know there is simulation etc but if they could tell that at the design stage via simulation would they not avoid that design…?


Apologies accepted and offed for an overly harsh response. Design is a process and takes months, hence Brawn commencing the 09 car at the beginning of 08. If the design is flawed it may not be rectifiable at all. Apparently Burn is of the opinion that the ’10 car has the incorrect center of gravity, ie its flawed. Burn holds this opinion regardless of unknown testing results, based on his knowledge and experience of design. Maybe they can fix it in time, we will see in testing and early season results.


Insult is the natural response in the absence of and intelligent reply.

My friend is a retired mechanical engineer who worked in F1 and is an avid Ferrari fan. Naturally he keeps in contact with his F1 connections. This is the report, insult me if you like!


I have a friend that once worked with someone currently key in Ferrari in F1, he is now retired but is still in contact. Apparently they have not got it right this year; worse than last year! The problem is that they have ignored Rory Burns advice for the second year running and Montezemelo is furious! Among other things I was told, the center of gravity it too high…


Do I smell a troll?


Insult is the natural response in the absence of an intelligent reply.

My friend is a retired mechanical engineer who worked in F1 and is an avid Ferrari fan. Naturally he keeps in touch with his old friends and colleagues, especially those at his favorite team!

This is the report, insult me if you wish!


I wonder how Red Bull car will look like! And it interesting to me to what extend an aerodynamics efficiency can offset an engine-fuel-consumption. Red-Bull will be equipped with Renault engines (quite low fuel-consumption) while Ferrari engines were not really fuel saving. We will see.


I remember Ferrari using ‘strong echos’ of the previous years Newey designed cars in 95 and 97.


longer wheelbases are generally going to be gentler on the tyres so the logic is obvious. I’m just interested if you can’t get the same effect with suspension setup so it’s a variable. That, instead of the fixed case, where you have to drive a long car around tracks like Monaco (which is a disaster).

I think this year will be positive from a spectator’s point of view: there’ll be more on-track overtakes because tyres will be at different levels. Last year we saw cars on similar tyres with different fuel loads dicing, but very little overtaking because grip levels were the same. Different fuel loads will change acceleration/decceleration, but different grip levels will change acceleration/decceleration _and_ cornering speed. Welcome back to some driver skill.


I remember this time last year when all the journos were saying how agressive and fast the new McLaren looked.

Just shows there’s no way you can tell how fast a car is by looking at it. There’s millions of dollars worth of CFD poured into it. The naked eye can’t work out how fast a car is if it takes some of the world’s most powerful computers to work it out.

If anyone tells you that a certain car looks fast just ignore them. They can’t tell.


To my point of view, the main information of this article, if it is accurate, is that the Ferrari engine needs 240 liters to do a bit more than 300 kms! Looks a lot to me. As last year pistops suggested it, the Ferrari engine is thirsty, and that’s gonna be a disadvantage…


Any idea of the Mercedes and the Renault (Red Bull) tanks? Renault has always built low fuel consuption engines, probably the bests ever. And the mercedes is surely great too… Hard time for Alonso and Massa?


Not yet!


I don’t really understand … despite their unlimited resources they come up with a copycat? Newey must feel flattered though.

Bring on the budget cap! True innovations are the result from restrictions.


Having seen the article in question now, thanks to a asc123, Im a bit worried about the size of the fuel cell. If we have a really big accident where a car is torn in two, there looks to be a good chance it could rupture. It is literally half the size of the car.


Regarding USF1, just seen this on their website;


They doing something at least, hope they do make it, always found when reading F1 Racing magazine that Peter Windsor spoke sense so I’m sure he knows what he’s doing….


Hello Stefan GP? No kidding he might just make a mint off leasing the Toyota F1 operation. Awesome quote from the Stefan GP job section, “Slightly advantage if you are ex Toyota F1!”


Yes, I offered him to edit his website in proper English. Hopefully, an ex-Toyota F1 hasn’t applied for the same position!


I’m wondering if the Gazzetta article was a transcript of this lost in translation. In the F1.com interview, Peter states that they’ll miss the first 3 European tests (testing in the States instead) and then move to Spain (their Euro HQ) to finish testing prior to Bahrain. I wonder if that got mis-interpreted as missing the first 3 RACES before the Spanish GP (even though there are actually 4 before Spain).

Quoted from F1.com: <>

It could be new info that they are missing races, but that F1.com interview was from 8-January. Peter seems like enough of a straight shooter that he’d at least hesitate/equivocate on Bahrain if at this point missing 4 races was their option.

Just my .02


Yes I agree it seems odd in light of what he has said recently. I’m going to find out tomorrow


James – were you able to find anything out? I know Peter W has been public today but I didn’t know if you figured out where Gazzetta came up with their story? Any truths there?


for some reason the quotes didn’t make it in. Here they are, again.

From F1.com, http://www.formula1.com/news/interviews/2010/1/10320.html

“Q: There have been suggestions that the team won’t make it on to the Bahrain grid. What is your reply to those rumours?

PW: The thought is ludicrous. I can’t say any more than that we will definitely be on the Bahrain grid.

Q: Most of the teams will be present at the first test at the beginning of February in Valencia, with the exception of some of the newcomers. When and where will you hit the track for the first time?

PW: The first thing that needs to be said is that if this was 2011 and we were an existing team we would be at the first test. But because we are a new team and started from nothing, the first time we will run the car will be in the United States at the Barber Motorsport Park in Alabama. This is the circuit that was nominated by the FIA for us. We’ve got this dispensation from the FIA, which is fantastic, because we are not based in Europe. We are the only team that has a test circuit outside Europe, so it is totally logic for us to run the car for the first time in the US at the beginning of February. We are allowed three sessions in the US. Then we will ship it to Spain to do some testing there before we fly out to Bahrain. “


Is it just me or does it seem that the 2010 regulations would have been suited to Kimi?!

– Always good with race fuel on board

– Longer wheelbase, just as in the 2007 Ferrari

– Easy on his brakes

– Higher weight allowance (Kimi being above ave)

– Narrower front tyres and weight distribution geared rearwards. Meaning better for drivers who prefer slight oversteer (i.e. Kimi & Lewis) as opposed to those that prefer slight understeer (i.e. Massa)

Should have accepted the Mclaren deal or at least Mercedes. Come on Kimi, come to your senses!!


while I entirely agree i’d just like to ask those with superior engineering expertise: did not the extra length of the 2008 ferrari make it more difficult to warm the tyres, esp in the wet?

remember it was difficult for Kimi [spa 2008] and impossible for Massa [silverstone 2008]


Pretty much. Raikkonen knew that McLaren would give him a car that would do what he wanted, as opposed to the Ferrari, he would still be very fast over one lap and be able to outlast Lewis on tyres. Raikkonen would have went to McLaren with his eyes wide open, which Button hasn’t. Pity. I’d have liked to see that. Kimi is done with corporate speak and fake corporate appearances though.


We hear this EVERY year.

Is Bill Murray a Kimi fan?


Doesnt narrower front tyres mean less front grip and therefore more understeer?

Go Massa!


Oh but then the weight distribution thing. B**r!

Go Alonso!


Is it just me or does it seem that the 20xx regulations would have been suited to Kimi?


Dude, the 09 cars were very oversteery because of the forward weight distribution, and the fat fron t tyres. The ’10 regs will mean the cars won’t oversteer as much. This will benefit Massa more than Lewis.


…assuming that Massa really prefers understeer, which I’d like to call BS on.


More weight bias toward the rear.. I’m wondering what effect this will have on the behaviour of the car.

A wild guess but would it be more to Alonso’s liking like the R25/R26? (albeit not on Michelin tyres)


Weight bias will be a tricky one because the cars will be draining from maybe 780kg down to 620kg by the end of the race. So the centre of gravity will have to be around the fuel tanks, or the balance of the car will shift wildly as the race progresses.


“…new rules, the fuel tank is said to be double the size of last year’s at 240 litres” TWO HUNDRED AND FOURTY LITRES!! Blimey! – Two thoughts immediately spring to mind – as Paul (above) says, the changing weight distribution as the fuel is used is surely going to be immense! The other is safety – the fire risk in the event of a big ‘off’ in the early stages must be of concern?


Fire from a ruptured fuel tank has not been a big problem in F1 for a long time. The last accident where a car’s fuel tank caught fire is, I think, Berger’s crash at Tamburello in 1989. After this accident the design of the fuel tank was changed from a solid structure into a puncture-proof bag. Since then an F1 fuel tank has not split, meaning the risk of fire – even in a car laden with 240+ litres of fuel – is still very low.


Interesting.. sounds like a job for an adaptable driver with the changing weight distribution, surely that would have some effect on handling.

You’d think that may suit Schumacher, Alonso, Hamilton, and Vettel, but if last season is anything to go by Button could be really put out by such a thing. Keeping that smooth style sounds hard when the car’s handling is changing.


Hi James, I know it’s been a busier than expected off-season, but are you still planning to do a post about Williams?

I’m fascinated to know what you think of their prospects with the Cosworth engine and Rubens working on car set-up. I’m even more intrigued to know if there’s half a chance of seeing Rubens mix it with Michael on track… there’s unfinished business there for one of them and plenty to prove to Ross too!

Williams may not be the most glamourous story, but they’re always an interesting one!


Sure I am. I’ll be going up there before the season starts and will put something together when I know more how it’s looking


Looking forward to seeing it – Williams were the biggest disappointment of the decade for me; I don’t mean that in a derogatory way, I’m a Williams fan and it’s frustrating seeing them being there or thereabouts, but never making that final step.

I had high hopes when they were with BMW and that didn’t really happen – 2003 being the ultimate disappointment since I was a big JPM fan, I thought they might pull off a surprise in 06 with Cosworth, but the only surprise was when they finished a race and they seemed to have great potential last season, but never really capitalised when they had the chance.

Bad call in Oz in getting Nico to chase down Rubens and ruining his tyres, bad timing in Malaysia, Nico’s white line moment in Singapore, the fact that if they’d had a driver to match Nico’s points they’d have been fighting for 3rd in the Constructors’ – all hugely frustrating, head against the wall stuff, though if I feel that way as a fan, I’d hate to think how Frank and Patrick must feel.


Now Autosport is reporting that US F1 will be ready for Bahrain. Why is US F1 shrouded in such secrecy and uncertainty? I’m not sure what to believe about them anymore.


Because publications like Auto Motor und Sport and Gazzetta Sportivo keep making stuff up?

USF1 hasn’t really been that secretive. I know more about what their car looks like than I do for pretty much any other team except McLaren, Lotus, and possibly Ferrari, if this article is correct.


I started watching F1 around 99/00 and ended up a Ferrari/Schumacher fan. When Schumacher left I stayed with Ferrari and fully expected to be supporting Schumacher’ old rival Alonso this season (although I do like Massa as well).

Despite my love of Ferrari it seems I’m a Schumacher fan at heart and am looking forward to seeing Schumacher turning the timing screens purple once again when the pole seems out of reach.

Bring on F1 2010!


Same here Mate, i’m going to Bahrain in Schumi/Merc Colours.. i’ve been watching the Schumaster since 1995.. moved with him from Benneton to Ferrari, then stayed at Ferrari until the Ultimate announcement.


Same here buddy… Im shiftin base to Mercedes! I wonder who is gonna outshine fan-wise come Melbourne. It would be awfully embarrassing for Ferrari if the crowd come dressed black than red 😉


Not great news on USF1 is it.

I look forward to reading your update on it James when the PR desk is open.


Part of the news for USF1 is wrong. Everything is booked for fly away races and USF1 will be there.

They will put soon correction on their web page.



I have a pic with this pages, but I don´t want to do any illegality. If James authorise me I put the link.



Nigel Stepney Has been found to have a new job at Gazzetta dello Sport!


I am not at all convinced that Ferrari would show their actual design to a journalist, surely they would want to keep it a secret as long as possible. However it would be an irresistible opportunity to plant some disinformation to mislead other teams. I would add all sorts of random bits before showing a journalist.

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