Ferrari goes back to the future: Rory Byrne to work on 2014 turbo F1 car
Scuderia Ferrari
Posted By: James Allen  |  10 Feb 2013   |  8:48 am GMT  |  157 comments

Ferrari has confirmed that it has hired veteran designer Rory Byrne, architect of the winning Benetton and Ferrari cars of the Michael Schumacher era, to work on its next F1 car, which will be to 2014 turbo rules.

La Gazetta Sportiva says that Byrne, 69, was spotted at the F1 launch this year and told a German journalist his plans. Quizzed on this, the team has now confirmed the signing.

Byrne retired from F1 and moved to Thailand a few years ago to run a scuba diving centre, but has maintained strong links with Ferrari.

There is a very specific reason why Byrne’s presence as an experienced “consultant” on the 2014 project makes sense:

“The new turbo engines represent a great opportunity for teams like Mercedes and Ferrari that can integrate the work of the engine builders with their chassis colleagues,” said Byrne’s former technical partner Ross Brawn recently. “The others will have to adapt their projects to those of the engine supplier.”

Of the other teams, Red Bull could also be considered a “works” team with engine supplier Renault. In fact that very word was used when the team renewed its supply deal last year. With Infiniti, part of the Nissan/Renault family coming on board as a title partner now, the integration is very close for the next generation of F1 designs.

With Ferrari having split responsibility for F1 design into two groups, between Simone Resta, who is behind this year’s car and Fabio Montecchi, who will lead the 2014 project, Byrne will assist their boss Nicolas Tombazis to take the whole project in the right direction.

Byrne’s cars have won 99 Grands Prix, mostly in the hands of Schumacher, so there is some unfinished business for him.

Featured Video
Behind the Scenes at the track
Behind the Scenes at the track
Featured News in ferrari
Share This:
Posted by:

Add comment

E-mail is already registered on the site. Please use the Login form or enter another.

You entered an incorrect username or password

Sorry that something went wrong, repeat again!
Absolute F1 Fanatics on Facebook

Adrian Newey is the most successful designer in F1’s history with nine (9) constructor’s titles.

South African Rory Byrne was the most successful designer in F1 with 7 titles but was eclipsed by Newey in 2011 with their World Constructor’s title win at Red Bull.

However Adrian Newey has never designed a car that took 6 consecutive constructors titles which Rory Byrne achieved at Ferrari between 1999 and 2004.

Newey’s title-winning cars were:

The Williams cars:

1992- FW14B

1993- FW15C

1994- FW16

1996- FW18

1997- FW19

The McLaren Car:

1998- MP4/13

The Red Bull Cars:

2010- RB6

2011- RB7

2012- RB8

Rory Byrne’s title-winning cars were:

The Benetton car:

1995- B195

The Ferrari cars:

1999- F399

2000- F1-2000

2001- F2001

2002- F2002

2003- F2003GA

2004- F2004

In the last 21 years Adrian Newey and Rory Byrne designed cars which dominated Formula One for 15 years. The successive years of 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009 were the exception.

It seems Rory Byrne has some catching up to do in 2013 and beyond. Either way, they are the very best F1 Designers the sport has ever had.

Forza F1!


jenson button became the 2009 champion after driving a car which was designed around a honda engine only for a mercedes engine to be put in it after parts of the chassis was chopped off.

this fact alone tells me that it doesn’t matter who designs the engine and chassis but what matters is that they are both good and well matched. after all its always possible to make changes to accommodate an engine.


James is it true that he acted as a consultant in the design of the f2012 ? …. we all know what a dog that was! ,I also read somewhere that he was fighting prostrate cancer


very few people have successful comebacks in formula 1.

rory may have been away too long and i’d say the same thing about john barnard.


Doubt this will do Ferrari any harm. Byrne was always the unsung hero of the Schumacher / Brawn / Todt Ferrari dream team. I hope they are not expecting miricles from him though much like Mercedes expected when reuniting Brawn and Schumacher. That period of Ferrari dominance was down to a combination of things not just one person.

I do think the influence of an old school designer will help when adapting to the new rules. Like Adrian Newey, Patrick Head, even going back to Colin Chapman et all, he is from a time where one person was heavily involved in the design of the whole car.

In this day in age cars are designed by different groups of people, aero boys that don’t know much about engines, engine designers that don’t know much about aero etc etc. With such a radical change in the rules and car design I think it will be beneficial to any team who has someone that has a firm grasp of the overall design of the car.

Basically you want a car that is greater than the sum of its parts, not one which is a collection of individually good components but is weak as a package.


Do you really think that new design or engine will make a difference? It’s not about technical specifications… It never has been. All that matters here are driving skills, we all know it.


[mod] The best driver allied to the second best car will rarely win the championship. This is one reason why the teams are rewarded in the Constructors Championship in parrallel to the Drivers Championship. Yes a good driver will maximise your chances on track (see Alonso vintage 2012)but to get the big trophy at the end of the year you generally need the best machinery at your disposal. Casting my mind back 25 years I can only think of one instance where the championship went to the driver in the 2nd best car and that was the 1994 Benetton piloted by some guy called Michael. Incidentally that car was a Byrne car.


As I replied above, I completely disagree.

The Benetton B194 was a far better car/ package than the Williams that year.

Forget a genius putting it on pole for the first three races, that doesn’t mean anything but that the guy was staggering.

More significant was Schumacher winning the first two races comfortably.

In fact, bar Spain (finished 2nd with stuck in 5th gearbox) he would have won the first 7 races.

Pity you only count 25 years, I would start 27 years ago in 1986.

Prost’s Mclaren wasn’t close to the Williams FW11

1995 would be fair to say that the FW17 was not as good as the B195

2005, Mclaren MP4/20 was better than the Renault R25


should read, B195 not as good as FW17


Hi James one can always count on you for the most interesting news on F1….A small question,

Since Rory byrne has been away from the sport more or less since 2006 and is touching 70 yrs of age will he be up to date with all the latest technologies being used in F1 today as the sport has moved on since then or will he struggle to develop a great car like in the glory years 🙂


The people working for him will be. He’s a superb engineer who knows what will work and what won’t, who commands full respect in both engine and chassis departments.

He may not be as current as Newey, but he’s a a skilled packager too


Yeah you should see him with some brown paper and parcel string!! LOL!


I think Ferrari and Alonso have a cunning plan.

You can’t get out of my mind the thought that Alonso isn’t somewhere building up his physio etc. He is testing 2014 car/components of it or something like that and the Byrne news somehow add to that.




I’m up for it


Your shout?


So Alonso will need a Bryne car to win a championship?



You’ll find most drivers need a good car to win a championship…and yes, better a Byrne car than an F2012.


Indeed, very rarely has the championship been won by the guy in the 2nd best car. 1994 was probably the last occasion and that was dubious given the adelaide incident and the rumoured benetton Traction Control. To be fair though Hill did make heavy weather of having the best car at his disposal.


Fair enough if you feel outright pace is the only true barometer of a cars quality, I personally believe being right there on pace and reliable is a sign of a better car than one that dominates qually only to spew its. Internals all over the track mid race.


Are you joking …The 1994 williams was a dog probably Newleys worst car !


Oh dear lord, you are kidding aren’t you?

Let’s ignore all the rumours of traction control and look at the facts.

He won the first four races, then a gearbox, stuck in 5th in Spain, allowed Hill to win. But for the gearbox problem, he would have won the opening 7 races of the season.

He was disqualified in Britain because of over-taking on the warm up lap!! Crazy ruling to spice up the show.

This also led to a 2 race ban because Benetton didn’t call him immediately for a black flag, they were arguing with the FIA.

He retired in Germany after pushing Berger hard. Don’t forget, the old Hockenheim with flat out straights, he was in a V8 against Berger in a V12 Ferrari.

Spa led to disqualification because of the worn away plank

Hill became a better driver than people give him credit for, but in 1994, he was in his second season and having to lead Williams after the Imola tragedy.

The FIA, effectively removed Schumacher from 4 races that year. From a season which Hill contested 16 races and Schumacher only 75% of this (12 races), he won 8 Grand Prix.

1982, Williams FW08 was not a worthy championhip winner.

1986, Prost was without doubt in an inferior car to the Williams.

1995, Benetton was not as quick as Williams but far more reliable.

2005, Mclaren far quicker than Renault.


It´s a Ferrari thing not an Alonso thing. He won 2 championships with Renault


Who wrote the 2014 regulations, I read somewhere Bryne consultated on the 2014 regs, is this true?


Very interesting (and perhaps a little desperate) back to the future move by Ferrari. I hope it brings success.


Can McLaren have Gordon Murray back, please?


I don’t think the “F1” will be allowed on the grid with three seats in it… 😉



A giant bearded man, wearing Hawaiian shirts and sandals in Ron’s MTC…

So so funny.


I think they are just confirming what has already been the case for longer then some realize.



Lets remember that Alonso won in Bob Bell’s cars, Bob who now is at Mercedes and has worked on the current car together with a certain Aldo, and will work with a certain Mr Willis who we hear was responsible for the Red Bull back in the day.

I think Mercedes are the dark horses and ferrari know damn well about Ross capabilities as a leader and a manager. And all this fuss about the role of Ross Brawn is actually out of fear and to distabilise Mercedes.

We all know that Ross had actually asked the board to release him so he can focus 100% on the technical matters. So having a non-exec like a Lauda between the team and the board covers that loophole from a corporate perspective. Yes Mercedes has grown as a business and the offsets outside formula one racing need a focused dedication and co-ordination a role that Toto has filled so the technical team does what it is supposed to do.

If they were so wrong, why has Ferrari copied that management structure of having 2 work streams?

James at time one wonder really if it is the fans commenting or teams in pseudo names to make confusion in other teams.

Lets give all teams a chance to do their thing please.



Ferrari and Mercedes don’t have the same structure:

Ferrari have two dedicated development teams, one for 2013 and the other for 2014. Luca di Montezemolo is the boss with Stefano Domenicali as team principal.

Mercedes have Brawn, Lauda and Wolff in some weird and unusual love triangle that will probably end in tears.

I’m tempted to sign off as Lotus F1, but that would probably get me in trouble 🙂

Sincerely, RBR


Ross Brawn has just declared Mercedes also has split the development teams, Aldo Costa for 2013 and Geoff Willis for 2014.


Makes sense for them to do that. I think most of the big teams will end up doing the same thing, if they haven’t already.


This may be stupid question.

But, is there any chance for dropping the Turbo Engines for 2014, since it costs a lot of money to produce it?


You are right.It is.


Well Bernie has made it clear that he doesn´t want the new engines. So maybe there is some room for a turn of events.


It has already cost the money, you can be sure

Plug shouldve been pulled more than a year ago if preventing cost was the aim

By now its surely cheaper to continue as planned


Bernie wants them dropped.

From the man himself…James that is, not Bernie 🙂 –

‘Ecclestone remains of the view that the new generation 1.6 litre turbo engines are bad for business and he, together with some of the race promoters, continue to apply pressure on Todt to drop the new formula, even at this late stage.’

Now back to me 🙂 –

…but with so much development already underway it’s virtually certain that we will see the V6 turbos next year.

As for the cost, that’s one of the major reasons the smaller teams are taking on pay drivers in an attempt to boost their coffers for next year.

Every time a new technology arrives costs go up, but those costs will come down again over time – it’s just a question of how much, how long, and whether or not teams like Marussia can survive in the interim.


I read this news. And that’s why I asked the question.


great news can not wait to get back racing soon .


This makes sense. The Ferrari design office was re-organised when Byrne “retired” and based upon the first test they have work to do during 2013 on a realistic WC bid. Having an engineer of Byrnes quality hanging round as a consultant is a great position for the Scuderia and it makes sense to put him to work on the 2014 car. The question mark is what additional resources Byrne can draw on for the 2014 car, particularly wind tunnel time which has been limited by the issues Ferrari has with their own rig.


Isn’t wind tunnel time limited by the RRA but only for the current car?


Not sure on that. I guess if they are in the championship hunt other resources like more junior members of the design office, model makes etc will be working on the 2013 car. Even do having a designer of Byrnes quality full time on the 2014 car will be a huge advantage.


Desperate times call for desperate measures!


Spot on, Tombazis should take walk, he has’t

made the wining single seater as yet.

From Ferrari to McLaren back to Ferrari and

nothing to write home about it.

Aldo Costa walked.


This isn’t desperation at all! Ferrari are using every weapon at their disposal. Going all out isn’t desperation, it’s war!


Interesting, of late, whenever Ferrari have come close to winning the driver’s title, the next year they have had a difficult year.

For instance;

1) Massa was champion for 30 seconds in 2008 and then had a difficult 2009

2) Alonso nearly won the title in 2010 and then struggled in 2011.


Let goferet worry about the past, I’m looking forward to the racing to come 🙂


Massa was not champion for 30 seconds.


Ferrari din’t struggle in 2011, it was just that RBR and Vettel combo was too strong.



Aah but you forget, Ferrari had problems with the hard and medium tyres in 2011.

Couldn’t generate heat, I believe it was


I remember that goferet, but they were not in 6-7th place (that’s what would define “struggled” to me) they were up-there with McLaren..


Interesting. I dont know if one man in a consultation role can make a big difference. But James, do you think the 2014 cars will be very different from each other. It will be interesting which design philosophy will win.


Interesting rule changes for 2014 f1 cars, see the following link from:

Hers the extract from wikipedia

Rule changes

“Technical regulations

The 2014 season will see the introduction of a new engine formula, with the sport moving towards a turbocharged, 1.6 litre V6 format with an 8-speed gearbox.[1] The rules dictate the use of a ninety-degree engine bank, with fixed crankshaft axis and mounting points for the chassis, while the engines will be limited to 15,000rpm. The 2014 specification of engines must last for at least 4,000 km (2,500 mi), in comparison to the pre-2014 engines, which were required to last for just 2,000 km (1,200 mi).[42]

The Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS), first introduced in 2009, will be incorporated into the design of the engine; its function as a supplementary power source will be taken by the introduction of the Thermal Energy Recovery System (TERS).[12] The TERS unit will give drivers an additional 161 bhp (120 kW) for thirty-three seconds per lap, compared to the KERS units used prior to 2014, which gave drivers an 80 bhp (60 kW) for six seconds per lap.[42]

The 2014 regulations require the use of lower noses than in previous years, in the interests of safety. The tip of the nose would have been no more than 185mm above the ground,[43] in comparison to the 550mm allowed in 2012.[44] The original rules—first published in August 2011—also called for a variety of bodywork changes aimed at cutting downforce, most notably through the use of narrower front wings, and a shallower angle to the main plane of rear wings. These additional changes were formally abandoned in December 2012,[45] but the requirement that cars be built with a nose no more than 185mm above the ground was retained.[46]

In order to promote fuel efficiency, cars will be required to carry no more than 100 kg (220 lb) of fuel at the start of the race, 30% less than in 2013.[42]

The position of the exhaust outlet will change so that it is now angled upwards toward the rear wing instead of downwards to face the rear diffuser so as to make the practice of using exhaust blown diffusers—passing exhaust gasses over the rear diffuser to improve the car’s downforce—extremely difficult to achieve.[42]”

Again, James could we clarify if this is true and any other changes not mention.


Somewhere above says Wikipedia is not a reliable source or something… 😀

Val from montreal

Ferrari and Alonso really must be getting desperate ? Now its going to be Vettel’s turn to say : ” I’m not racing against Alonso but against a Rory Byrne car ” …. Wait a minute , it just dawned on me that Byrne’s signing is possibly for the arrival of Vettel in 2015 … Yup back to the future ! Second German driver domination repeat in Maranello ??


Are you saying that Byrne´s cars puts Newey´s cars to shame? Well Byrne´s cars have done before so I guess it can happened again. I wouldn´t be surprised if I see Vettel begging Ferrari for a seat. And Ferrari´s answer will be that they want Hulkenberg


Since when signing smart and talented people a sign of desperation?



I’m gathering from Val’s post it’s only desperate until Vettel joins the team. If and when that happens, it will have retrospectively been a stroke of genius…


Be aware of who posted the comment. Only Rob Newman is more outwardly anti Ferrari..


“Unfinished business” he says! XD


I really think Newey will like this.



Here’s to hoping he gets the 100th 🙂

Top Tags
SEARCH Scuderia Ferrari