F1 Winter Break
Ferrari gets there first, as boss says “We have to win”
Ferrari gets there first, as boss says “We have to win”
Posted By: James Allen  |  28 Jan 2011   |  1:17 pm GMT  |  185 comments

Ferrari launched its challenger for the 2011 F1 season at Maranello today, the first team to reveal its car, with much talk of optimism and fresh beginnings.

The 57th new Ferrari F1 car to roll off the line, the car looks quite similar to last year’s, apart from the areas affected by rule changes such as rear wing and diffuser, but it doesn’t mean a great deal at this stage. The stopwatch in Valencia, Jerez, Barcelona and Bahrain will decide if it is any good or not and the car will evolve significantly during those four official test sessions and will look quite different when it lines up on the grid in Bahrain on March 13.

The monocoque however, is homologated so that will not change and it looks like an evolution of last year’s car, rather than some clean piece of paper design or indeed Red Bull copy, as one or two of the other new cars might be.

Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo said, “This year we have to win”, ramping up the pressure on the team and its drivers to deliver. As has been widely reported there has been a restructuring of the technical department with the arrival of top engineer Pat Fry from McLaren who will work alongside former McLaren colleagues Nicholas Tombazis (designer) and Neil Martin (strategy).

Formula 1 has a unique ability to reinvent itself, as occasions such as this remind us.

The sport never stays the same for long, never rests, as new partnerships are formed, new cars released, new drivers hired. It is a sport that is on permanent auto-refresh and that is one of the main reasons for its popularity. But on a human level the strain is immense; there is an insecurity which comes from standing on shifting sands and in F1 the sands shift constantly; whether it be in politics, sporting fortunes or technical innovation.

The way to fight that insecurity is to stand together as a team, to challenge each other constantly and to trust that every key member will do his job to the best of his ability. Ferrari was unbeatable in the era when the ‘circle of fear’ existed between team boss Jean Todt, engineer Ross Brawn, designer Rory Byrne and driver Michael Schumacher. They drove each other on to achieve total domination by maximising every single aspect of F1.

Ferrari know that to attempt to recreate the past is futile. Domenicali is not Todt, Fry is not Brawn, nor is Aldo Costa, Alonso is not Schumacher, although he has some similar qualities in terms of his approach to winning.

In many ways the challenge they face from the opposition now is greater than the one faced by the “Dream Team” of the early 2000s. Red Bull is a formidable force, with Adrian Newey at the heart of it, more potent and inspired than he was in his later McLaren years, which co-incided with Ferrari dominance. Ferrari did a great job back then, but the opposition did a poor job. Williams fell away, McLaren were erratic, BAR Honda couldn’t hit the peaks and only Renault eventually came through with Alonso, to end the dominance.

Having lost the mantle of “the team to beat”, Ferrari is keen to get it back again. President Luca di Montezemolo said so in his presentation today, emphatically.

Undoubtedly they will win races this year, especially with Alonso, who consistently got top billing today, in videos, in speeches in speech order, even down to his name being above Massa’s on the cockpit of the car. From Massa they expect more than last year, Montezemolo referred to him as “our child” and again cracked that joke about Massa’s brother being in the car last year by mistake. A forced smile from Massa, who wants to surprise people this year and – frankly – cannot afford not to.

From Alonso they expect the championship, nothing less, and he expects that from himself. He almost won it last year from a seemingly hopeless position. He’s the right driver for them at this time.

To beat Red Bull, McLaren and even Mercedes this year they will need to get all the details right; development rate, decision making, race strategy, even team orders, which are now legal. Of course it can be done and if anyone can beat Red Bull it is Ferrari and Alonso.

Today Ferrari got their first. Will they still be there on November 27th?

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I would give anything to see Schumacher and Alonso dueling it out for the title this year. If Alonso doesnt win it then I would hope Schumacher does.

Still six weeks before the start of the season, but I'm as giddy as a child on Christmas Eve...


The same for me - like a child on Christmas! 6 weeks is not that long, but it's even better when you think that the tests start next week! And then there'll be some more tests so I hope the time will just fly and before we notice, it's Bahrain!

Yes... it would be awesome to see Alonso and Schumacher fighting again at the front and though I'm not sure if that's possible, we can still hope :).

Nothing really innovative about the car, but that's no surprise as everybody wants to hide everything, right? And if I remember correctly, RB6 was looking more or less like the 2009 RBR car and it turned out to be great, so I don't mind Ferrari not looking that "new" apart from a few things here and there (at first sight) as long as it's fast. I think it's simply nice :).

I've also noticed Alonso touching the car on the stage - like a child who can't wait to start playing with his new shiny toy ;-).


That would be epic, but I don't think Schumacher is up to that. The Mercedes will be fast, though.


I didn't realise it was only 6 weeks. That's exciting. I've got a feeling bahrain is going to be a cracker!


Yea only six weeks we get millions in new toys this special day.


"The sport never stays the same for long, never rests, as new partnerships are formed, new cars released, new drivers hired. It is a sport that is on permanent auto-refresh and that is one of the main reasons for its popularity. But on a human level the strain is immense; there is an insecurity which comes from standing on shifting sands and in F1 the sands shift constantly; whether it be in politics, sporting fortunes or technical innovation."

What an excellent and eloquent way of summing up Formula 1 in a single paragraph 🙂


Agreed. Absolutely! Really very well put, James. How I do so enjoy beautiful writing! It is an art form, one you have certainly demonstrated so eloquently in that paragraph.

Thank You!


Yes! This paragraph is like a perfect lap leading to a pole position. 😉

Marcus in Canada

Yes, excellent writing, raising the bar as usual.


I agree outstanding, probably THE best paragraph that has ever captured the true essences of F1!


Long time reader, first time poster. I had to say big ups James for that succinctly worded paragraph.

Don't be surprised if you get quoted all over. You nailed it!


+1 reading that article made me feel a little bit of pride for the sport i love. thanks james.


A year full of expectations start; who will have the winning inovations; I am looking forward to.


Man, does Monty know anything about motivation and human psycholoy? Saying 'Massa's brother was in the car by mistake' joke or not in a public event must be terrible for the poor guys confidence!

On the car - looks good. Simple, clean and elegent. Will have to see what the other teams do and what the stopwatch says though.


What Ferrari is doing to Massa is minuscule in comparison with Marko-Webber thing. They simply say "look boy! you're playing second fiddle in our orchestra whether you like it or not, just make peace with it. Ahh! and make sure you play it right, OK?"

For goodness sake Felipe, run away as soon as you can, you are being emotionally harassed here.


To be fair they said plenty of nice things about Massa and I'm not being critical. But if you watch the body language of the event it was clear who the team looks to to lead it to glory in time honoured tradition


Offcourse Alonso is team leader! Look what he actieved in his first season with Ferrari. He humiliated Massa, who had an awfull year. Alonso would've won the championship were it not for that idiotic strategy decision.
Massa doesn't stand à chance against Alonso, especially with all the gizmo's inside the car this year. It could very well be Massa's last year as a Ferrari driver.


I was slightly overreacting, as I can do admittedly.

No doubt there is a lot of positives that can be said about Massa and Ferrari often did just that.

Oncoming is Massa's decisive season; I'll be watching how he handles the pressure caused mainly by Alonso's presence. Will he accept the support driver role for the sake of clinging on to Ferrari seat, or driven by ambition, will he go to another team to become no.1?


correction: I meant the other way round. What Marko does to Webber is minuscule with Ferrari-Massa thing. It is 5 o'clock in the morning, my head isn't working properly yet.


Does he have a brother in the 1st place? it could be more embarrasing for him!


Isn't his brother also some kind of a driver? Like in karts or something?

And they do look quite similar 🙂 (at least in the pictures). You can check it on the Internet - he's name is Dudu (Eduardo).


Was it Luca's little brother asking about Massa's little brother...?


He does! And he often comes to races


Why does everyone think Massa's confidence is like a porcelain doll, so easily fractured if mishandled even slightly? He is a Formula One racing driver, and a damned good one. Like all athletes at his level he undoubtedly is unfazed, his will and determination must come from within. If he has lost the will to succeed at this level he will be replaced.

I personally think Ferrari have shown tremendous loyalty to him and should be applauded. They rewarded Massa's efforts during his tenure at Ferrari with a race seat that very well may have been lost in almost any other team.

If anyone thinks that Montezemolo's comments are not crafted to spur Massa on then you must be insane. Why would Ferrari poke fun at their driver unless they knew him well enough to know that it will only stoke the fire within him. Ferrari know Massa, sure he may be a bit of a confidence driver, but he also drives with passion and fury when challenged.


I watched the entire show and Montezemolo gave Massa a bit of a nudge but he was also careful to make some very generous comments about Massa; the fact that Alonso's name was above Massa's on the headrest is hardly critically important. I was struck by the informality of the whole presentation - at one point the continuity man had to ask the three engineers to move as they were in the wrong place.


Hello Shane,

I think that keeping Massa after his crash was very risky from Ferrari as "for sure" 😉 nobody could garantee that he would be able to race at the same level as before. Yet the team was loyal and didn't abandon him and then extended his contract last year. He paid them back somehow by giving up his win in Germany, so I think they are more or less even now, though Massa really needs to pick up his pace this year.

Re people pitying Massa and his supposedly fragile psyche: I think it's a bit complex. Firstly, It think that people generally tend to divide the world and people into stereotypically good and bad characters (black and white). From this point of view, it's Alonso (and apparently Ferrari) who's supposed to be the "bad" guy while Massa is the "good" one - the victim with the whole world against him. So naturally people tend to sympathise with him and pity him on every single opportunity.

Then, there's Massa's looks - he does look like a little baby and they call him this way in Ferrari (even today), so maybe that's were all this image also comes from.

But I agree with you - drivers face huge pressure all the time, so if something like what Luca said can destroy their confidence, then they shouldn't be really driving in F1. If they can't cope with jokes like that then how are they supposed to cope with a much greater pressure during the whole season? I somehow think that people wouldn't feel that sorry for e.g. Schumacher or Alonso if Montezemolo was talking about their siblings driving for Ferrari. Didn't he actually use this argument with brothers in the past about Schumacher and also Kimi? I guess Massa is doing much better with it than people would like to see and the arguments about destroying his confidence come (mostly but not entirely) from people who dislike Ferrari or Alonso.

That's how I explain it :).


Lila My

"to me it’s blown out of proportion a bit"

I agree with you completely. There are some people who simply don't like Alonso, and will attack him with whatever method is most convenient.

It is interesting to note that when McLaren was blatantly favouring Hamilton over Kovalainen, eg. giving only Hamilton new parts, telling Kovalainen that "Lewis is faster than you", Hamilton was never considered to be the bad guy.

Teams always give priority to the driver who has the most chance of bringing the team success. In 2008-9, Hamilton was that driver at McLaren. In 2010, Alonso was that driver at Ferrari.

I think that Massa is a very good driver and a great ambassador for the sport. Hopefully he will have a successful 2010 season.


mtb: "Unfortunately it is more complicated than that! Remember that after Spa 2008, Massa was supposedly the bad guy!" - yup, hence the quotation marks when talking about good and bad - we can't simply divide neither F1 nor anything else in the world into the bad and the good and it changes every now and then and fast. So yes - Massa might have been the bad guy after Spa (while Hamilton was a "poor victim"), but in present circumstances (with the "bad" - again in quotation marks! - Alonso as team mate) he turned into the good, poor one, who everybody should pity. The good/bad labels aren't really permanent and it can change very rapidly with new events or circumstances. But for now, being sorry for Massa seems to almost be "in fashion" at to me it's blown out of proportion a bit.


"...while Massa is the “good” one..."

Unfortunately it is more complicated than that! Remember that after Spa 2008, Massa was supposedly the bad guy!


massa is number two in the team, and unless he does somthing very special in the first few gp's, he is in for a very frustrating season.

If alonso keeps the form he had at the end of last year, he is the favourite. But that's easier to say than to do.


If he keeps his forma and the RB and McLaren are slower than the Ferrari, if the cars are even in performance there will be no clear favorite.


This is the 62nd seasons but only 57 Ferraris?


The speed of development was a lot slower in late 1940s and 50s. Alfa won a lot of races post World War II with pre-war cars that were hidden away.

Ferrari also ran the Lancia D-50 for at least one year, so that may not be part of list of 57 cars.

If you look at the eighties, McLaren used one basic monocoque design from 1981 to 83 and the MP4/2 from 1984 to 1986. The car kept winning over that time with ongoing development, so the basic design didn't change. Williams also ran the same car for multiple seasons on a number of occasions. The 1989 Ferrari was basically carried over until mid 1991.


They haven't always made a new car for a new season. In the past, a car could dominate for a season or two before a new one was needed.


Also two world championships were raced under F2 specifications.


Have they lost Etihad as a sponsor?


i think ferrari bought back the part in ferrari that the royal family had. That's maybe the cause of the lack of etihad.


...& I read on another site that that share of stocks might be going public, as Williams is talking about.


I really hope Renault Lotus will be included in the people that they have to beat :P.

I really think they have a chance with there car behind at "the brave end of the brave" radicl wise.


Yeah! I suppose you refer to: "if anyone can beat Red Bull it is Ferrari and Alonso". I hope it did not mean the others cannot do that too.


i think it means that if anyone can do it it is the best driver in the sport in the best team in the sport


wasnt the brave end of brave a Williams quotation Joe, from Rubens?


Absolutely, they are going to be hero or zero (however with Robert unlikely to be under water).


"The sport never stays the same...innovation", great paragraph James. It is always hard to descibe to someone who doesn't follow F1 what the makes us fanatics.


The car looks great, aggressive. Given fact of limited weight distribution balance this year will be good or bad as a whole.


it looks a bit boring to me. it's copied mclarens side pods too.


Well, the car needs additional cooling for KERS, so that would need to be a change from 2010.


I almost can't spot a difference vs last year. What does it mean, aggressive, in this case?


it looks like last years car.


Where do you think it looks aggressive?

Steve In Somerset


Luca di Montezemolo said, “This year we have to win”.

What do you expect the repercussions to be if Ferrari don't achieve either Championship again this year?



@Steve in Somerset, "Luca di Montezemolo said, “This year we have to win”. If Luca seriously wanted to win he would have kept Kimi. He didn't.


"This year we have to win" - saying this is joy killing at its best. With that sort of attitude I am afraid they will slip back even further behind Red Bull.


More changes..? What else can you do?

Steve In Somerset

Well quite, but you can't keep changing staff every year that you don't win. Sometimes other teams just do a fantastic job.


Well, maybe than can try to Offer Newey an offer he can not refuse ...

Steve In Somerset

What happens if Red Bull keep winning? Ferrari will run out of staff eventually!


Remember second is nothing to Ferrari...so you can keep changing


I thot they disallowed moveable front wing for 2011???


They did, Ferrari probably just didn't want to advertise their new front wing to the world. I would be surprised to see them test with the old wing too.


It's banned. The car just has an old front wing on it. We'll probably see the new one on Monday. The nose-cone IS new though.


Am I the only one who thinks the logo on the engine cover looks much more like a pack of Marlboro than last year's bar code?

Either way, great looking car. Bahrain can't come soon enough.


that was EXACTLY my thought....but it looks better than plain red


I agree. It both looks better and is more reminiscent of the famous pack of cigarettes than the barcode ever was..


Yeah. The advertising is back. I guess the "heat" has died down now?


Odd conclusion given they announced that logo last year to deflect some of the "heat" they were copping at the time over the barcode, but now it looks more like a Marlboro logo? heh funny.


The F150 looks almost undistinguishable from the F10, but then the same could be said about the RB10 w/c looked an awful lot like the RB9 (Red Bull '09 car); and we all know how that one turned out - the RB10 was near untouchable for most of last year. So hopefully, the 2011 Ferrari would perform in a similar manner. After all, it was Rory Byrne himself (and Mike Gascoyne tool) who once said that the key to a good design is "evolution not revolution". The most important thing is to get the base factors working properly, rather than come up with something so revolutionary that it turns out to be a "quantum leap of faith" for the worse, like McLaren's MP4-18A.

I sure hope that Ferrari know what they're doing this year. And I sure hope they win it, even if Vettel would be carrying the most momentum. It would be such a shame if the partnership w/ Fernando Alonso would end up like the one w/ Alain Prost - close but no cigar. Forza Ferrari!


@Rafael: RedBull Racing and long term Mark Webber fan here. A small terminology correction mate!

The RedBull Racing's Formula 1 entry for 2009 was designated the "RB5". The 2010 entry was designated "RB6". The 2011 entry will be the "RB7".

Redbull sequence of entry designations follow on from the first RedBull F1 year taking over Jaguar team base - not the Year of entry.

RBR Website and Community web can clear this up for anyone. No issues - just setting the RB entry naming straight. Proceed.....


The old Ctrl + C, Ctrl + V combinations have been doing overtime over the winter drawing offices of maranello.

Anyone else notice the mclaren sidepod air intakes, the redbull nose. The tricolora looks good on the back of the wing.

If looks are a good indicator though, a nicely packaged racecar. Don't the cars look so much nicer without the shark fin airbox covers.


It's the Porsche 911 school of updated design. Lots of tracing paper going in and out of the factory.


I'm a huge 911 fan jimmiC. If you've driven one of the latest models they are totally sorted.

As a practical sports car, even with a family it is fantastic. But then again, I'm still wincing from the price of the Porsche childrens car seat. Ouch..


That very clearly is not a RB5/6 nose. There is almost no V-shape when viewed from the front and from the side it's high and almost horizontal. The new regulations don't favour a Newey-nose anyway (height restrictions or something) so I'd be surprised if any top team retains it.

You're right about the intakes though. They have a McLaren-style U-shape, instead of the nearly triangular ones from last year. The tricolora does indeed look great and I think the White is better integrated than last year.


Good link to keiths side by side

Looks like they are not playing their aero hand yet. Wheels are last year (those aero aids are not allowed) and the front wing looks like a slight change on 2010 (as in I bet that's not the wing they go with).

The funniest link I've seen did a spot tge difference from last year and in the 2011 car launch they highlighted Fernandos new facial hair style. 🙂


Well his beard IS the most noticeable change :). check this one out:


it's in Spanish but just click one of the grey silhouettes and you can pull a slider to move between overlaid pictures of the F150 and the F10. It does look like an evolution (as far as the exterior is concerned anyway).

The rear half has changed in quite a lot of places but subtly so and so has the nose cone. The front aero looks the same because it is the same. The front wing has the movable flaps on it so it must be one of last year's wings. It and the front wheels will change. Last year's aero can't work well anyway because the higher nose and different weight distribution will change the aerodynamic requirements.


"Undoubtedly they will win races this year"

Interesting thing to say before we've seen anyone on track...


Something makes me wonder of they said that back when they launched the F60.... sorry that was a low blow


@devilsadvocate, 🙂


Well if it were me you could have said that, but I cant question James's words as he is someone who is quite close the sport and you have to give weightage to his words


Look at the mix for the final recipe...yes they will win.



My wife adds all of the same ingredients to a chilli con carne, but mine is always better 😉

Bit like adrian newey.


Given the fact that they ended the season with a very quick car, an evolution seems a safe bet. Especially if some teams are tempted to go radical, which I think McLaren might?

Hasn't di Montezemolo said "We have to win" every season? I mean, it's a no-brainer.

And another dig at Massa? Brilliant! That will help with his morale. Sheesh!


Slightly off topic, but can Kers batteries be moved around as ballast?


Not really. (a) They are big and bulky so few alternative positions available, (b) they need ‘easy’ access for changing them, (c) the further you move them to, the longer their beefy electric cables need to be, which themselves would add more weight to the car!


Predictably, an uninspiring and insipid looking car descended with little modification from last year's - courtesy of the 2009 aero/monocoque rule enforcements as opposed to the efforts of the Ferrari engineers. I would say it bears 1999 design standards with the arguably ugly proportioned wings. If you look at the sculpture of the basic shape of the nose, the front of the monocoque, sidepods, and rear wings it looks very mundane and unsophisticated. When I compare it to the 2008 model I am appalled that the rulemakers see this as progress.

On the topic of capability, it is interesting to note Gary Anderson writes that the 2011 Ferrari represents an overly conservative design he thinks will struggle to compete with teams have been more aggressive. I feel as if though the true pace of the car will be in "what's under the hood". Aerodynamically it doesn't seem radical but maybe they want to keep some design features, say with the front wing, under wraps until Bahrain.


I'd be surprised if Gary Anderson has a lot of value to add just on the basis of looking at a few photos. The F10 ran an engine that was slightly inclined (a unique feature) and had a long gearbox to maximise the diffuser length.

The McLaren MP4-25 was more radical, but it generated less downforce and was more pitch sensitive. As more technical details become known we can make more judgements, but the track will tell.


What do you think it is? Is it the friday practice morning for bahrain GP?

This is only the skeleton and remember it hasnt hit the track yet. We cant judge it if it is inspiring or uninspiring before the quali kicks off in bahrain.


For some reason, this year I couldn't care less when the season is going to start. I honestly think that Bahrain is going to be a dull race and possibly Red Bull is going to win it.

On Ferrari - every single year is a new year and every single year I hear the same story - WE ARE HERE TO WIN CHAMPIONSHIP. After the first race we here that the season is still long....mid season we hear that they can still do it and people should not disregard Ferrari and Alonso. When the season ends...we will hear it again - NEW YEAR, WE ARE HERE TO WIN.

And on...and on...and on....

For some reason people can't admit a simple fact - Ferrari lost is, there is nothing to add to the poetry anymore.


I think you're a bit harsh with Bahrain and Ferrari.

The main reasons why Bahrain was such a dull race last year have to be down to the twisty addition to the circuit that made overtaking even more difficult than it usually is and the conservative approach the teams took with the reintroduction of refueling.

As for Ferrari, they are in it to win it. Not many other teams have this immediate ambition.

He is obviously making Ferrari's position clear to all stakeholders.

It is worth also bearing in mind that native speakers of a Latin based language tend to be more direct than English or German.


I am not certain that Bahrain has ever produced a memorable race.


I thought that Button's first podium was in the previous round at Sepang, but I could be wrong. Some journalists got excited after Bahrain in 2004, as they felt that if Schumacher and Barrichello had collided (Rubens was forced to back off on the first lap) then Jenson would have won the race.

I thought that de la Rosa was a scrappy driver in a superior car in 2005. He may have been entertaining, but there was a large comical element to his drive (which I am pretty sure James and Martin Brundle highlighted).

In 2006 there was a small gap between Alonso and Schumacher after one of the pit stop rounds, but not much else. My main memory is the fact that Massa more or less drove to Schumacher's pace.

2007 and 2008 were fairly uneventful, although some people did accuse Alonso of brake-testing Hamilton in 2008. This was incorrect, and plenty of evidence was produced to support the claim.

2009 was hardly a classic. Button enjoyed a significant performance advantage over his rivals, and the McLaren was essentially a mid-field runner at that stage of the season. When these factors are taken into consideration, Button's move wasn't that impressive. I think that was the race where Massa was unintentionally short-fuelled by the team during his final stop and had to back off (or was that the next round in Spain?), which provided a bit of interest.

Overall, there is yet to be a race in Bahrain which has been anything out of the ordinary for me.


I don't recall 2004 much other than the fact it was Jenson's first ever podium in F1.

2005 was a thriller with the new Ferrari being unveiled. Pedro de la Rosa return to racing and his overtaking maneuvers to get to fourth. Lots of racing incidents between Villeneuve, Sato and Coulthard. An excellent race.

2006 was another good scrap between Alonso, Raikkonen and Michael Shumacher. Great drives from Webber and Rosberg too who finished 6th and 7th respectively in the Williams.

In 2007 Massa was upfront but Alonso struggled to get past Heidfeld's BMW and offered some great racing.

2008 - no recollection (you're probably right on this one).

2009 had the two Toyotas on the front row and managed not to win due to a strange strategy. Great overtaking from Button over Hamilton at the beginning of the race too.

Part of the excitement came from race/fuel strategy, which is why, in my opinion, the 2010 race was flawed (and the additional section made it a different track from the previous years; which didn't help either).


I have to agree with that too ! Being French myself and speaking quite a fluent english I know enough about both languages to notice the differences in the ways to say things. A language conveys more than facts and ideas it conveys a culture. there are a lot of misunderstandings coming from that simple fact... In some multinational companies there are specific trainings to help people to work together...


Do not get me wrong - Ferrari is there to win. But...why to you think McLaren is racing? Or Red Bull...or Mercedes?

Besides, for once I would want Luca to say nothing and simply win it. Intentions are nice, but reality might be different.

In simple words - I do not care what he says, because he always says the same thing exactly. I shall see what this season is going to bring. If he is not going to win, he will look stupid.


What do you suggest they say? "Oh we lost, it's over" ?

It's like any annual sport


I am saying that when you repeat it over and over again...people no longer pay attention.


Yes, they are there to win, but so are McLarens, Red Bulls, etc


Yes they do...they are called Fans...not cynic


But Ferrari is there to win, if not what's the purpose?


ok they lost last year, but considering Ferrari have won both the drivers & constructors championship 6/10 for the last decade and then had a driver in contention to win the drivers championship into the last race for 2/10, i'd say they more often than not do what they set out to do....

also don't forget F1 is ferrari's marketing tool - they don't advertise in any other way, so they have to be seen as successful/purposeful.

i agree on the potential for the first race tho... hope to be proven wrong tho


Massa was perhaps the poorest part of the presentation. I've realized he has almost no confidence at all, I expect him to be his own shadow again.


Pretty conventional-looking.

Is there a tad more white paint on it this year?


Maybe there's more white due to the logo being so white.

Personally, I just wish they would paint the front wing mounts in red.


To AlexD who sounds in a down mood:

I hope ALL the teams start EVERY year with a positive attitude of racing to win! Why else compete???


'Ferrari did a great job back then, but the opposition did a poor job. Williams fell away, McLaren were erratic, BAR Honda couldn’t hit the peaks and only Renault eventually came through with Alonso, to end the dominance.'

of course it helped having a veto over rule changes.


And significantly more F1 income is given to Ferrari from FOM and this is used to outbid the other teams for the better drivers!!!

Would like to see Ferrari compete with other teams on a more level playing field. Only then might I see their achievements in a different light.


"this is used to outbid the other teams for the BETTER drivers"

For once I am in total agreement with you!


The teams that earn more from the distribution rights are the larger teams. Therefore the advantage of the larger teams is perpetuated each season.


And so Ferrari's advanatge over the other teams is perpetuated bwhen it receives a large subsidy from FOM!


I am not sure that Ferrari could compete at all on equal terms. Part of the strategy for them is always to have an advantage over the other teams. Whether it be financial, or influencing the rules in their favour, there is always something to give them a head start.


If any car thwarted Mansell's championship challenge, it was the one that he drove in 1995. Do you know who the constructor of that car was?

It was a rather dark period for the team in question, which culminated in Mansell's outburst at Barcelona.


Bizarrely, when Senna drove for McLaren and “our Nige” drove for Ferrari, Senna (and by virture, McLaren) was (allegedly) the favourite son of the FIA and Mansell (and by virtue, Ferrari) the outcast.

Nigel Mansel may have been seduced by the pay offered by Ferrari to drive for them. Unfortunately for "our Nige", his opprtunity to win another WDC while at Ferrari was blighted by Ferrari's inability to deliver even a half reliable car (eg dogged by technical issues developing a semi automatic gearbox)... more akin to a donkey than a racing horse for team that calls itself Scuderia.

Quite a black period in Ferrari's racing history which had nothing to do with Senna at McLaren.


Part of the strategy of EVERY team is to have an advantage over the other teams.

Bizarrely, when Senna drove for McLaren and "our Nige" drove for Ferrari, Senna (and by virture, McLaren) was (allegedly) the favourite son of the FIA and Mansell (and by virtue, Ferrari) the outcast.


if i remember correctly, most of the rule changes were designed to stop MS and Ferrari from winning in August itself.


Exactly, but this fact is conveniently ignored for some reason.


A bit like being allowed to re-enter a race with the assistance of a crane. This despite the fact that the sporting regulations stated that a crane should only move a car when the driver has signified retirement from a race.


But there's nothing like being able to win a race by crossing the finishing line in the pit lane for a 10 sec stop go penalty as was the case at Silverstone in 1998. Only Ferrari could win in such a fashion......so some might call that karma after many years of rule bending for Ferrari.


That only started in 2005




Frank Williams broke ranks with a number of teams when he signed up to the Concorde agreement in question in 2005.


But Frank didn't break ranks with the other teams and sign up to the Concorde deal that gave Ferrari a number of special privileges.


There was a time when every team had the right to veto a rule change. Frank Williams frequently did, and nobody (apart from the other team principals) seemed to have a problem with his actions.


no skark fin engine cover and not connected to the rear wing. thank the lord. the back of f1 cars will look so much better this year again.


I've seen some pictures elsewhere on the web and the rear wing is painted underneath as the Italian Tricolore and looks really good.


Perhaps they just need a Ron Dennis there breathing over their shoulders constantly saying "Don't make a mistake" "Don't make a mistake"


They go one better - "if you happen to make a mistake you will pay with your head"



I read online this morning Ferrari had "learned KERS lessons." How do you think they have? Could that be from a drivers perspective of when to use it, or is it where the system is positioned in the car?


Weight and reliability. Mercedes had a much lighter system in 2009 and Ferrari is proud of the way it has slimmed down its system


After 18 months of last use, I am convinced that Ferrari has managed to reshape the KERS system (RMS-Rinehart Motion System -Vilsonville ,Oregon,U.S.A. provided the KERS Control Unit to Ferrari in the 2009 race season) and use it more successfully than in 2009


They had got it working reasonably well in the second half of 2009, as Raikkonen demonstrated at Spa. The decision to focus on the 2010 car would have disguised the benefits of the KERS.


"Alonso is not Schumacher" james allen WELL SAID!! i disagree with some stuff you say, but this was TOP DRAWER!!


True, he beated Mike in 2006, so he is probably better.


errrm no, it was a illegal mass damper that gave alonso an unfair advantage in the first half of the season! get your facts straight!


Most of the leading teams were using mass dampers in the 2006 season, but no team was able to get its system to work as effectively as Renault's.

Numerous protests were made during the season, to no effect. A McLaren-led protest around the time of that year's German Grand Prix led to the banning of the technology.

If Renault was benefiting an illegal system, then so to were a number of other teams.


Michael's best days were behind by then.


Having compared the launch photos from last year to this year there are reasonable differences. The rear suspension connection to the main body is moved forward, the nose is much higher at the front. The bodywork above the side pods are now flat, the air intake is now more circular.

Can't find a photo of the rear end from last year, however we know it will look very different.


Those front wings look a bit flexible. What do you reckon?


It's 2010 front wing. The new one will be used for first time at Valencia tests.


"The sport never stays the same for long, never rests, as new partnerships are formed, new cars released, new drivers hired. It is a sport that is on permanent auto-refresh and that is one of the main reasons for its popularity. But on a human level the strain is immense; there is an insecurity which comes from standing on shifting sands and in F1 the sands shift constantly; whether it be in politics, sporting fortunes or technical innovation."

Amazing paragraph. Perfectly sums up how we all feel about the sport. The constant change is one of the most frustrating and one of the most fascinating things about F1.

I can't wait for Bahrain. Waiting for my driver to win his 3rd WDC, Ferrari's the team to do it with. Poor old Massa though, the brother comment was bad enough the first time!


I agree. That paragraph brought a smile to my face 🙂


I like the way the car looks, cant wait to see the RB7 though, given how much a performer the RB5 was with the single diffuser.

Ferrari really need to get their act together or they will quickly become the laughing stock of Formula1. Team orders will almost certainly get them a WDC or more with Alonso but the precise reason Red Bull and Mclaren currently occupy the top two slots in the constructers race is because they have two top quality drivers who fight it out. I realize there are some Marko haters out there who think he really runs down Webber and while I think a lot of that is creative thinking on behalf of media and fanboys who want to see RedBull crumble, it still isnt good for a team (although it certainly seems to be a good way to motivate the Aussie so maybe not so bad); however it is nothign compared to the way Luca talks about Massa and more importantly it is much more clear that Ferrari backs this talk up by allowing stunts like China and Germany to go on. Its really too bad for them because no one will ever want to come drive there to play another Rubens Schumacher game for as long as they have a number 1 around, and for that matter no one want to get booted like Kimi did when another number 1 comes along.

Oh well, if it isnt obvious Im an RBR fan so I could really care less what happens in Maranello as long as the trophies stay in Milton Keanes.


Ferraris position among the other teams is very interesting.

It is hard to say whether they are making the right steps and whether the right words are chosen and said.

First of all it is difficult to understand what is Massas position in the team. I guess that it is hard for the team to define it. They want him to be competitive but on the other hand some experts already discuss what percentage of points Felipe should score in comparison to Alonso. That means that they consider him already as number 2, even before the season.

Also it is difficult to say how Massa himself sees his position within the team. At this point it is not only a matter of self belief and confidence.

About Ferrari as a team - much has been said about the changes in personnel. The question is - do they know what they want to achieve? What is the point in these changes? The change in itself does not always transform into quality. Of course, it is a breath of fresh air but the question is - can the air be fresh enough for a long and stable period of time?

It seems that the team puts too much pressure on itself. If it motivates them more, then good.


Excellent way to sum up what Ferrari expect from 2011!

Question for you James: do engineers in F1 dream of working for and ending their careers with Ferrari the way drivers do? Being an engineer, I'd want to be with the most innovative team where new ideas are encouraged, something which you don't always find in most big and established, although very successful organizations.


You'd want to be working in Milton Keynes or Woking then as an engineer. They always seem to be coming up with innovations that lead the way.

I sometimes wonder whether the pressure on engineers and designers, and the seeming willingness to pull the trigger on those that make mistakes means maranello staff less willing to take a risk. You quite often see them taking a design idea from someone who has introduced it and putting in their car.

I can't remember the last time they had a benchmark solution that everyone wanted to follow (which is strange for a leading team). I think since Byrne left they have always been playing catchup to the benchmark.


That's the point though. Ferrari never really went for basing their performance on one aspect.

Although they HAVE had lots of innovation, particularly in the 2007 car. A lot of the reasons why the 2007 McLaren was so good was because of what they learned from Ferrari (not trying to start a debate here but just saying)

Those included filling the tyres with a new compound to keep temperatures down and reduce tyre wear, a new port-Byrne zero keel design (the first for Ferrari and the first time in a long time a non-single keel car won a championship)


byrne and ross brawn always said but that there was no single piece that made their cars so good. it was a very well developed car all over that made the difference. i also think the f-duct and double diffuser should have been outlawed espically the f-duct for even gary anderson in autosport admits it was a moveable aero device..



"Now had it been Ferrari that had developed the F Duct, I guess that would have been a completely different matter…."

If it had been the McLaren team that had developed a throttle management system that reduced wheelspin during the period in which traction control was banned from 1994-2001, then I have no doubt that press coverage and attitudes from fans in certain quarters would have been somewhat different.


And because it just happened to be McLaren that developed the F-Duct possibly...

Now had it been Ferrari that had developed the F Duct, I guess that would have been a completely different matter....


Indeed, but they produced the fastest car every year. It was a brilliant period for Ferrari. Bit boring for us non Ferrari fans though 😉

You can't do anything though but appreciate what they achieved, as despite a big budget they got the results.


Not to the same extent


Why on earth would any engineer ever want to be part of a very successful team such as McLaren?


and why is that, James? Really interested...what is appealing for them in F1?



Since this looks like the start of a new year, maybe I would like to put some of my thoughts out there about things that really need to be fixed.

1. Meteoric rise at young age:

We have a rash of young drivers, who are acting really smart (no matter how talented they are, or how better prepared they are compared to the previous generations). It is a fact of life that if a young hotshot tries to be too smart, he will be shown his place in no uncertain terms by the established players.

Personally i would much rather watch Schumi/Barichello playing hard, or Schumi / Alonso playing mind games, than watching Vettel unable to find a way past the guy in front.

2. Excessive radio talk:

The young 'guns' think just because they can talk on the radio, and they are the celebrity now, they can try to act smart.. How often do we hear Hamilton complain over the radio and asking questions that are outside his job responsibilities? Makes the engineer look like his servant

Think about it, in most of the radio conversations that get relayed on Live TV, how often do you see these 'spoiled young brats' complain as compared to the old pros...

At the end of the day, the fact of life remains, that it takes time, and that there is no substitute, and no shortcuts.

Personally, barring the fact that Vettel is a pleasant person, I felt so much better to watch Webber act like a man, in victory or defeat, rather than seeing Vettel win or sulk.

Again, just a few thoughts here, would love to see if it's just me or not -



Webber act like a man? I'm sorry I thought he was being annoying and immature with his "Not bad for a number 2 driver"

The only reason this is coming to the fore now is because this is the first time in Webber's F1 career people have started paying attention to him

If you read some books on him and look at his views on things, maturity is not what comes to mind


Yeah really? Tosh.

A fifth place finish for Minardi in his first Formula 1 GP in Australia would not have been noticed at all ???

And then of course F1 racing in early 2009 post rehabilitation with titanium plates/pins in your leg, a few months after being run over by a truck, is highly uninspirational and not that impressive in F1 circles??? A maiden F1 win in the same Year - no less.

As for the Silverstone 2010 message post-race, most applaud the straight shooting comment. Mark was really annoyed re pre-race wing antics, and he let the team-mgr know in no uncertain terms he wasn't about to lay down like a lame lapdog. Manly stuff.. (Barichello even commented on it as such post-race, and he should know about that sort of subverted driver situation!).

The fact the radio message got picked up for TV Broadcast was not intended in the cockpit - although I for one am glad it got aired.


"Alonso is not Schumacher"....I could not agree more. Well said James. Might buy your book again.


stating the obvious no? Of course he's no Schumacher, no one is the same. It would actually be an insult to Alonso to compare him with Schumacher (his 7 titles aside)

Alonso beat him and has shown he's at least as good.


haha laughable! i would have liked to see schumacher with an illegal mass damper for the first half of 2006 and alonso with a legal one! then we'd see how good alonso really was!


They're both evil and very very fast. They're on a class of their own. And they respect each other. They're superhumans enjoying their game 🙂

So, I'd say:

Level 1: Alonso and Schumacher

Level 2: Vettel, Hamilton, Kubica

Level 3: Button, Webber, Rosberg, Massa


James, I've read some other articles with more photos since my last post.... is that an exhaust blow diffuser I see? Or just a front to get some of the other teams panicking before the season opener? If its true I trust you will be the first to explain how with the new diffuser regs making it a lot less reasonable and a lot more difficult to implement.


I thought that aerodynamic wheels were banned for 2011.

The F150 seems to carry over the trend from 2010 and not use 'road car' like standard wheels.

Aside from that, it doesnt look much different from the F10. Maybe ferrari didnt want to give too much away.


They definitely are banned for 2011 Chris. F1fanatic run a good side by sides if you want to see the likeness.

I posted the link further up the post.


Im afraid, It would be some embarrassment much before 11/27 for, Santander Alnoso team. They look ideally slotted for that.


James, I've been looking at pictures of the car and judging from other people's views, there doesn't seem to be much difference between the F10 and F150.

Can you do an article on the differences YOU notice and the key (homologated) aspects of the new Ferrari?


How come the car has been going around a track today?! Is this another 'filming' day?!?!


Ferraris position among the other teams is very interesting.

It is hard to say whether they are making the right steps and whether the right words are chosen and said.

First of all it is difficult to understand what is Massas position in the team. I guess that it is hard for the team to define it. They want him to be competitive but on the other hand some experts already discuss what percentage of points Felipe should score in comparison to Alonso. That means that they consider him already as number 2, even before the season.


I hope the 2011 cars are a little closer in performance than last years, then we can see how just how much of a difference a particular driver can make.

If you take the top six driver / car combinations :







Put them in equal machinery and who would actually come out on top ?

I would bet on Hamilton and Vettel as overall the fastest over a single lap or a short race distance but I believe that superior race tactics and strategy would put Schumacher and Alonso right up there over a normal race distance.

Button would be there with the others if the tyres were dodgy or it was a wet race but I think Mark Webber would be just outside this group in overall pace.

What do you think ?


Hi Chris. My thoughts. IMO....

Right now, on current form in Careers I'd rank them thus (on expecatation of exactly equal machines under them):

1. Alonso (the best all round/complete driver)

2. Hamilton (good quali and racer, but not tactically as good/consistent as Alonso)

3. Kubica (still hasn't had chance to show his talent and maturity with good car under him)

4. Vettel (very fast in quali and out front, but lacks race craft to challenge 1 & 2 & 3 positions above)

5. Webber and Button. Even match. (both very experienced and race skilled, but not a outwardly talented or fast as others above)

PS: I don't belive Schumacher 'has it' any more to be in the top group. He has lost that spark of skills, which may be brought back if the Merc is better, and matched to pointy front Pirelli tyres this year.

Remember: I say this as a RBR and Webber fan, so I'd profess my reply is not expressly fanboy biased.

There a re a crop of young drivers like Nico Rosberg pushing up, but not thereabouts just yet....


I think we all pretty much agree who are the top guys. I didn't include Robert or Nico because I was picking the top six being the best drivers, combined with their experience and their cars.

I think Robert is one of the best but I doubt whether the car will be capable of a pole position in 2011. Although nobody can tell which cars will be at the front in 2011 because of the rule changes.

I'm sure we all agree it will be one of the best seasons in recent years.


Interesting how you didn't mentioned Massa and particularly Rosberg in this.

Also you never know how Renault will fit into all of this!


Poor Felipe. No matter how he does this year I just cant see him being kept on next year and if they could have both found a satisfactory exit strategy I doubt he would have been there today.

Since he's on a hiding to nothing what's to stop him sticking a massive two fingers up to Ferrari and refusing to co-operate when he is instructed to do so and looking after himself. This is a massive year for him.

The driver market was rather static this year but I would wager this will be Schumacher, Webber, Barrichello's and Trulli's last years as well as the possibility of Vettel being on the move next years driver market could be very interesting. A strong season from Massa and he could have a pick of many decent number 1 seats for 2012.


What a s**ty way to treat Massa. I think it might come to haunt the great Ferrari.


"I think it might come to haunt the great"Ferrari.

By getting a better driver.....

I like F Massa but he is not scoring points and in today's F1 both drivers must rack up points...

LH + JB = points...

SV + MW = points

you have got to get two scoring...


I think Ferrari are treating Felipe incredible well. They have been so loyal to him the past couple of years. Some teams would have ditched him immediately after the scene he made at the German GP.


The buzz has begun, nice.


The Ferrari is an interesting design. It looks like they are trying to disguise the actual bottom shape by painting the lower portion of the sides black.

There is also something interesting with the front wing. The two front struts have a seam and fastener fitting just above the main wing plane. I suspect this is a further development of the wing flex that they used last year.

I am eager to see how the rear wing operates and whether the passing function is workable or just confusing and incomprehensible to us spectators.


I was thinking those curved front struts look rather like an aero fence directing air when viewed straight on.


does anybody know if the straight line speeds are clocked at tests. would be interesting to know what the fastest straight line speeds were at tests last year and compare the differences with ARW this year


This kind of goes back to the other post about Montezemelo's political ambitions and how other Italian politicians are calling for his head for losing the championships. I wonder: was that just a rare case of political opportunism or is it a standard M.O. for Italian politicians and other prominent Italians to feel that they can make such strong public statements about what I assume is still a privately or semi-privately controlled company?

I'm Canadian and while Canadians are passionate about hockey, I can never imagine the Prime Minister or any other politician publicly stating that the GM for the Toronto Maple Leafs is an embarrassment and should be fired simply because the team lost. North Americans may have trouble separating church and state, but never sports and state. haha


Italian Politics had an active Porn Star as a bench member of Parliament for a good while (not that Italian politics needed any livening up from the usual circus it is).

They have bizarre ethos in their politics over there, and Scuderia Ferrari is more than about sport in Italy - it is about national identity and forza-Italia pride. Everything is fair game.

Nothing suprises me anymore when it comes to Italian Politics. To them, a Watergate event is a minor political misdemeanour.


Thanks for that.


i have heard from an italian friend who been a tifosi was at the track trying to get a good shot of the car that the radio chatter indicated the adjustable rear wing gave alonso a 17kph speed boost when it was tested on the longest straght. they also ran kers which gave a 12kph boost.

they got alonso to run adjustable rear wing and kers together and got a 31kph boost.

if those figures are accurate then the racing this year is going to be extremely dull. as soon as anyone gets within 'the zone' on a strgaht there going to make the pass easily in a straght line and that sort of passing is not exciting or intresting to me.

i want to see some good, close, exciting racing and not a ton of easy passes caused by that sort of speed boost. may as well watch nascar or indycar oval races where there is a hundred meaningless and dull passes each race.


I cannot believe that no one has mentioned the fact that this year's Ferrari is named after an American pickup truck. I hope the one from Maranello has few other similarities.

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