Ferrari launch 'aggressive' F2012
Team launches with another warning to Felipe
Last Updated: 05/02/12 12:03pm
In another dramatic sign of the times, Ferrari have launched their radical 2012 charger - the F2012.
Though hailed as an 'aggressive' car, attention is bound to be focused on another, rather ugly, 'boxer's nose' and radical front-end design.
Having been forced by snowy weather to cancel their plan to launch their new car in front of an invited audience, Ferrari instead took the wraps off online, with the 'Scuderia Ferrari 2012 single-seater' unveiled on the team's website.
"We know the future of the company depends on what we do here today," said team boss Stefano Domenicali. No pressure then.
The car was unveiled by drivers Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa and, according to first impressions, is far closer in look to the Caterham CT01 than the relatively-conventional McLaren.
"The way they've incorporated the new front nose height regulation is much more brutal than on the McLaren, more like the Caterham. But there's probably less to that than meets the eye. Of more significance is the front suspension - which is pull-rod rather than the more common push-rod, which is quite a radical change. "
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"This is something that was part of my dreams, I really trust the team and the new car," said Massa. "It looks really, really aggressive."
That's one way of putting it.
The car's most distinctive feature is another 'boxer's nose', with the car a radical departure from Ferrari's designs of the recent past. It can't, however, be described as a pretty car. With the sharply-stepped nose, in layman's terms, perched on front-wing tusks, it is certainly an attention-grabbing challenger, however.
Looking ahead to the new season, Alonso remarked: "We have to be resolute and positive for the season ahead. We have to fight for the title."
Turning his attention to his new office, the Spaniard added: "I like the creative shape of the new car. From the beginning, the first feeling has been very good. When a car surprises you with the first look, that's always a positive thing."
Meanwhile, speaking on a weblink, Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo repeated his demand for the under-pressure Massa, who has just a single year remaining on his contract, to improve his performances this season.
"He knows as much as we know that he has to do something great, something better after a not-so-positive season," announced the typically-forthright di Montezemolo. "We are offering him the best conditions to do a great job."
Massa himself is under no illusions about the challenge he faces. "The biggest pressure is coming from myself not from other people. I've put a lot of pressure on myself and am really motivated and sure that we can have a great year."
Yet, for the timebeing at least, it's the team's new car that is the centre of attention at Maranello. With the unveiling endorsing reports last week in Italy that Ferrari's latest creation was not a looker, the team will be hoping that beauty is no barometer of speed.
"I am sure our car will be winning right from the beginning," declared Stefano Domenicali in confident fashion. "We have learned many lessons from the past, and taken some difficult decisions. But I am sure all our efforts will be represented with this car.
"From a technical point of view, we have many novelties in terms of mechanics and also the shape of the car. We wanted continuity here, and hopefully we will reach the right performance."
Now for the hard work - with the car set to be put through its pace for the first time in Jerez next week.
"We have only 12 days to work on the car and achieve reliability, and also test the new tyres that have been given to us by Pirelli," added Domenicali.