The 2013 Challengers: The Ferrari F138

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The 2013 Challengers: The Ferrari F138

Post by Ed » Sun Feb 03, 2013 6:13 pm

1 February 2013 - 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.

Luca Montezemolo

“I liked this presentation,” was Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo’s opening remark to a crowd of journalists immediately after the F138 launch. “I felt a special atmosphere, right from the start of the morning when I left my home in Bologna. We had not seen fog here for a long time and it reminded me of the 1997 presentation, the year when Ferrari began its winning cycle.
“During the ceremony, I was moved by the tribute to the Avvocato Agnelli, someone who was very important in my life and whom I miss a lot, a man who was of fundamental importance to Ferrari on so many occasions, at the race track and in the factory.
“Apart from my family, Ferrari is the most important thing in my life and every time I walk into the factory, even after all these years, it puts me in a good mood and I continue to get new stimuli and ideas. Today’s presentation went off with good spirit and passion and I’m pleased about that.”
Asked about the technical characteristics of the F138, the President had this to say: “yesterday afternoon, I saw it and I defined it as “hopeful,” because I noted plenty of attention to detail, especially in areas where aerodynamics are key. Why should I hope this car is competitive right from the first race? The answer is threefold. Firstly, because of the obsessively detailed review of the past season, secondly, the major changes to the organisation and work methodology and thirdly, the concentration on just one wind tunnel, which will be important, especially throughout this season. Track testing is not available to us, something many would like to see reintroduced, so we have concentrated more on simulation tools. Bringing an experienced driver like De la Rosa to Maranello is part of this strategy and attention to detail.”
The conversation switched to engines, given that 2013 is the final year for the V8. “A V6 engine is not part of the Ferrari tradition and in the name of the F138, we are paying homage to the 8 cylinder engine and the fact this is the last year we will use it. I continue to maintain, for economic, musical and power reasons that it would be better to stick with 8 cylinders. But the decision has been taken to build the V6 and if next year, there will be modifications that are in the best interests of Formula 1, then I will even be pleased to see this engine at work and in fact, I’m sure Ferrari is capable of building the strongest V6 in the world.”
Asked why Alonso was not taking part in the first test at Jerez, the President said, “the decision not to run Fernando in the first week at Jerez was dictated by the wish to allow him to stick to a very precise physical training programme. However, for the Barcelona test, attention will switch to performance, which is why Fernando will start then, rather than the first few days.”
As for the wind tunnel, Montezemolo set out the reasons for not using the one in Maranello. “We had our doubts as to the correlation of data from the wind tunnel and the track, therefore we decided to close the Maranello wind tunnel, to update it while concentrating only on the Toyota wind tunnel. This will be important, especially in the coming months for the development of the car. I hope that, after the summer break, the rebuilt wind tunnel will open again here at Ferrari.” As for the idea of Vettel driving for Ferrari, Montezemolo said that it was not possible to have the German teamed with Alonso. As for the third driver, the choice is between De la Rosa and Bianchi and the question is under discussion at the moment.
With the drivers and Domenicali alongside him, the President chose to highlight the importance of the sponsors, such as up market brands like Swiss watchmaker Hublot, the Russian high-tech company Kaspersky and for the first time a Chinese sponsor, Weichai Power. “Our team was becoming Spanish with Gene and De la Rosa and we wanted to increase the presence of the Italian flag at Ferrari to show how important is our country and our roots to us.”

Fernando Alonso & Felipe Massa

There were plenty of questions for the Scuderia Ferrari race drivers at the press conference which followed on from the presentation of the F138 and which also featured Team Principal, Stefano Domenicali.
Asked about the reasons why he will miss the Jerez de la Frontera test, Alonso said that, “the first test is a general test in which one checks that all the components are put together properly. Given the short amount of time available, we have decided that I will concentrate on the following tests: testing in Barcelona is more useful for measuring performance as well as being a circuit we race on. In the meantime, I will continue with my preparation and will follow the Jerez test, keeping in touch with Felipe and Pedro and analysing the data acquired by the engineers. To be 100% fit from now ‘til November will require combining training and resting. I can’t say if it’s a nice car or if it’s good enough to make the difference, because tenths are not visible to the eye, you need to see them from the cockpit. Now, all we can do is concentrate on testing.”
It falls to Massa to give the new car its first taste of the track. “The first test is very useful to understand the direction in which we should go and where we need to do the most work,” commented the Brazilian. “Last year, I had a very positive second half to the season and I really want to get back on track and continue with the work that has seen me improve a lot over the past years. My aim is always the same, to give my all, right from the start of the season.”
Both drivers were asked about their motivation to win at this point in their career and their response was unanimous: “The sooner we win the better and we want to win for this team, for what it means and to be part of the history that makes up the legend that is Ferrari.”



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”


Number of cylinder:8
Cylinder block in sand cast aluminium:V90°
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

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Post by Thaddeus » Mon Feb 04, 2013 6:31 pm

I went for 2nd/3rd.

Alonso had a great year (despite the narrow loss) in 2012 and at the end of it Massa was driving very well too.

However, development time has been compromised because of the close title fight last year, and unless there are multiple winners as per last year I imagine others (quite possibly McLaren) will have a distinct advantage early in 2013.


Post by » Sun Mar 17, 2013 11:22 am

They said their car is better this year. Too bad they are still years away from red bull. Hope I'm wrong. But looks to be SAME OLD SAME OLD

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Post by Janefer » Fri Jun 14, 2013 3:55 pm

Ferrari is the symbol of victory in F1. Behind it there are many factors like their team work in changing and guiding, their accuracy in deriving. It comes only when they train their drivers in an efficient and compact manner. As they become habitual to drive a car like a true racer.

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