The Italian Almanac

Ferrari f2012

New and Ugly

Ferrari took an aggressive, bold approach to developing their race car for this season, the F2012, after being woefully uncompetitive in 2011. Almost every area of the car has been fundamentally revised compared to its predecessor and the result is something one would never expect from the legendary Italian carmaker and Formula One team - ugly.

The first thing to catch the eye about the F2012, which was presented online after the usual glitzy ceremony at Ferrari's Maranello headquarters was snowed off, is its square, boxy nose. This was adopted to comply with new regulations on front-chassis height, boost the car's aerodynamics, an area that was one of the weak points of last year's car, and help lower its centre of gravity. "Even though it is not aesthetically pleasing, we believe it is the most efficient aerodynamic solution for that area of the car," said Ferrari Chief Designer Nikolas Tombazis.

The team will get some idea of whether the F2012 will put drivers Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa in a position to contend for grand prix victories when it makes its testing debut at Jerez in Spain next week. "It's a very different approach, both from a mechanical and an aerodynamic point of view," said Ferrari Team Principal Stefano Domenicali. "I will only be happy when I see that this car is competitive. There are a lot of expectations but we need to control that and make sure we stay focused".