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Ferrari has unveiled its 2013 contender the F138, the fifty-ninth car built by the Italian team 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 in 2014.
This car constitutes the team'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.
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