Here’s the new Ferrari F138, the car they hope will propel Fernando Alonso to the 2013 world championship. Once you discount this year’s latest fad, the modesty panel hiding the god awful noses we saw last year, then this Ferrari is not terribly different to look at compared with the F2012.
Simone Resta, Deputy Chief Designer, explains they have made significant changes to the F138’s suspension. “There were very few changes to the regulations, but nevertheless we chose to work on and modify all aspects of the car, trying to move forward in every area, because we felt there was a significant amount of performance that could be gained with this new car,” he said.
“I would say the biggest changes relate to the front suspension, which has an improved layout, while at the rear, the suspension is completely new. We also have a revised sidepod design, aimed at improving the aerodynamics in this area, as well as a completely new layout for the exhaust system.”
You sense that Ferrari had a bit of a love hate relationship with last year’s car and they hope they have put things right, even if there’s still some changes to come before the season starts in Australia.
“The car we will race in Melbourne will be quite different to the one seen at the launch and the first test,” continues Resta. “In the past few weeks we have improved and indeed in those ahead of us now, we can improve further, the performance of the car, which guarantees that the F138 in Melbourne will be significantly different to the F138 at Test 1…and hopefully quicker.
“I am reasonably happy with the car so far as there was a significant performance gap to be closed, something which we cannot deny, but I think we have done a good job in all areas, trying to cover all the weak points of its predecessor.”
There’s more photos after the break, along with Ferrari’s full press blurb and more insightful commentary from Craig Scarborough.
F138 – Technical specs
- Carbon-fibre and honeycomb composite structure
- Ferrari longitudinal gearbox
- Limited-slip differential
- Semiautomatic sequential electronically
- Controlled gearbox – quick shift
- Number of gears 7 +Reverse
- Brembo ventilated carbon-fibre disc brakes
- Independent suspension, pull-rod activated torsion springs front and rear
- Weight with water, lubricant and driver 642 kg
- OZ Wheels (front and rear) 13”
- Type 056
- Number of cylinders 8
- Cylinder block in sand cast aluminium V 90°
- Number of valves 32
- Pneumatic distribution
- Total displacement 2398 cm3
- Piston bore 98 mm
- Weight > 95 kg
- Electronic injection and ignition
- Fuel Shell V-Power
- Lubricant Shell Helix Ultra
F138 – Description
Maranello, 1 February – The F138 is the fifty ninth car built by Ferrari specifically to take part in the Formula 1 World Championship. The name comes from a combination of the current year and the number of cylinders, to mark the fact that this is the eighth and final year of competition for the V8 engine configuration.
The project, which goes by the internal code name 664, is the first design to come from the reorganisation concerning working methods that has been in operation for several months, with the creation of two distinct groups of designers: one working on this car and the other on the completely different car which will race next season. This car constitutes the Scuderia’s interpretation of this year’s Technical and Sporting Regulations, which in fact are substantially the same as those from last season. Therefore the F138 can be seen as an evolution of the F2012, in terms of its basic design principals, although every single part has been revised in order to maximise performance, while maintaining all the characteristics which were the basis of last season’s extraordinary reliability.
The design philosophy of the suspension layout has not changed and it continues to use pull-rods both front and rear, but it has been refined to the limit, in order to gain as much aerodynamic advantage as possible, especially at the rear. The bodywork elements have been redesigned to allow for changes to the positioning and layout of the exhausts. The dynamic air intake, mounted above the cockpit has been redesigned, as have been the intakes to the side pods, which in turn have also been optimised in aerodynamic terms, while maintaining unchanged the overall cooling system.
The rear of the car is much narrower and more tapered on the lower part. The configuration of the front and rear wings derives directly from the last versions used on the F2012, partly because development of that car ran all the way to the final race of last season. However, the aerodynamic elements shown on the car are only those from the initial phase of development: significant modifications will be introduced in the weeks leading up to the first race and a busy development programme is already planned. The drag reduction system on the rear wing has been revised and optimised to make the most of the modifications to the Sporting Regulations that come into play this year. There are detailed changes to the design of the brake ducts, both front and rear and work has been carried out with Brembo on optimising the braking system overall. During both the design and production stages, great attention has been paid to weight reduction and on increasing rigidity. This theme was carried out through all departments working together – Chassis, Engine and Electronics and Production – which bears witness to the importance of being able to design and build a car with everyone working side by side in the same place, which has always been the case at Ferrari.
The engine on the F138 is an evolution of the one fitted to the car last year, inevitably given that the technical regulations forbid modifications to internal components aimed at improving performance. Given the consequent difficulty of finding performance increases through internal modifications, work was intensified on ensuring that the engine’s performance level remained as high as possible throughout the lifecycle of each power unit, which has now reached an average life of three races.
The kinetic energy recovery system retains its location in the lower-central part of the car, a strategic choice which has always been adopted by the team, partly with the aim of ensuring maximum safety. Once again this year, a great deal of effort has gone into reducing its weight and size, at the same time improving the efficiency of some of its components and, as in the case of the engine, maintaining the highest performance level throughout the KERS usage cycle. The technical collaboration with Shell, which has run for several decades now, has led to further progress on the fuel and lubricants front, aimed at increasing performance in overall terms and also on maintaining it throughout the engine’s life, as well as reducing consumption.
As for the electronics, it is worth noting the introduction, ahead of schedule, of the single control unit that will be used in 2014. This has involved a lot of work to integrate and control all its features in terms of both software and hardware.
In keeping with a Ferrari tradition, much time has been dedicated to the performance and improvement of the materials used, at the design stage of each of the six thousand or so components which make up the car, in order to make all the on-track work more effective and efficient. Obviously, quality control remains a vital aspect, with the aim of achieving the highest levels of performance and reliability, at the same time as maintaining the highest safety standards possible.
With only twelve days of testing available before the start of the Championship, the preparatory work on the test benches prior to the car’s track debut, has taken on even more importance. The three test sessions – at Jerez de la Frontera and Barcelona – will allow the team to get to understand the behaviour of the F138 and to adapt it to the new Pirelli tyres: in fact, tyre use is an area that has seen a lot of work both at the design stage and in its management at the track. Also very important and something that will not only be restricted to the winter months, has been the effort invested in areas that could influence the result of a Grand Prix, such as the team’s pit stop work, reduction of time spent going through the pit lane, strategy management and the start procedure.
Simone Resta – Deputy Chief Designer: “there was a significant performance gap to be closed”
Maranello, 1 February – There’s a name, that will be unfamiliar to most outside the walls of the Ferrari factory, alongside a job title that is also unfamiliar and new to the Maranello team: Simone Resta is now Deputy Chief Designer. “I started my Formula 1 career with the Minardi team, where I spent a few years, he explains. “Then I moved from Faenza to Maranello, working for Ferrari, first as a designer, then as a coordinator for a group of designers, followed by a time as head of Research and Development, before taking on my current role with the responsibility of coordinating the 2013 car project. In this role, I report to Nikolas Tombazis and to Pat Fry. As from this year, the design team has been split into two groups: one for this year’s car and one for next year’s.” This means that the F138 can be seen as Resta’s first car and he outlines some of the key details of this brand new single-seater. “There were very few changes to the regulations, but nevertheless we chose to work on and modify all aspects of the car, trying to move forward in every area, because we felt there was a significant amount of performance that could be gained with this new car. I would say the biggest changes relate to the front suspension, which has an improved layout, while at the rear, the suspension is completely new. We also have a revised sidepod design, aimed at improving the aerodynamics in this area, as well as a completely new layout for the exhaust system.
“The car we will race in Melbourne will be quite different to the one seen at the launch and the first test,” continues Resta. “In the past few weeks we have improved and indeed in those ahead of us now, we can improve further, the performance of the car, which guarantees that the F138 in Melbourne will be significantly different to the F138 at Test 1…and hopefully quicker. I am reasonably happy with the car so far as there was a significant performance gap to be closed, something which we cannot deny, but I think we have done a good job in all areas, trying to cover all the weak points of its predecessor.”