A new Ferrari. Honest.

Posted: January 31, 2011 in Formula 1
Tags: , , , ,

Presenting, for your viewing pleasure, the Ferrari F150 in which Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa will tackle the 2011 season:

Keen students of racing cars with red paint on them will note that the F150 features a flatter top surface on its sidepods than last year’s sculpted concave efforts and that the nose is higher than the F10’s.  You’ll need to be a very, very keen student to pick up on any of that within 5 minutes of your first glance.

It’s par for the course to see a new car launched with interim parts attached and that’s probably the case here – for starters, the front wing looks a lot like the 2010 version.  The rear wing, though, is a 2011 model.  The upper portion, the area with Santander written on it, can be flattened using a driver-activated switch at designated points on the racetrack, which will lower drag and increase straightline speed.  During races, the device can only be used when within a second of the car ahead and not at all during the first 2 laps.  The idea is that overtaking will increase, though whether it will and how artificial any passing moves will look remains to be seen.

Packaged away neatly inside the car is the returning KERS package – kinetic energy becomes heat energy under braking, which is collected and converted into a temporary power boost.  A few teams ran it in 2009 but all the major players have it this year, which might provide a way of cancelling out the straightline speed increase brought about by the new rear wings.  Keeping track of which driver is operating which system at any given time may well prove difficult, but not half as difficult as remembering which one to operate while still having a hand free to turn the steering wheel.

There was a time, not all that long ago, when teams produced Grand Prix cars which looked appreciably different from one another and the launch season was filled with excitement and anticipation.  This digitally-rendered teaser for the new Mercedes MGP W02, which very definitely isn’t a Ferrari F150 coloured over with silver and bits of turquoise, suggests the 2011 launch season isn’t going to be a classic.

  1. Paul Kelly says:

    I despise the return of the high noses. So, so ugly.

    The name of Ferrari’s car is causing idle chuckles here in the States, as the Ford F-150 has been the No. 1-selling pickup truck in the Colonies for two consecutive decades or more.

    • Seems to be Built Ford Tough as well, if its reliability record through the Valencia test is any kind of measure.

      I know the F150 business is all politically motivated and Luca’s playing power games on the domestic front, but I’d nevertheless love to see someone in the USA apply the Ferrari design to their truck and whack the Tricolore across the tailgate.

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