Ferrari launches its 2009 F1 car, likely to be called the F2009, in Mugello later on today.
Here’s what we already know about the car which Ferrari will defend their back-to-back 2007 and 2008 constructors’ championship titles with, and the state of the team going into 2009.
Ferrari personnel have said on several occasions that their preparations to run a Kinetic Energy Recovery System next year are not going well. Team boss Luca di Montezemolo has criticised the FIA for bringing in the technology, claiming its much-touted relevance for developing similar systems for road cars is exaggerated.
They are believed to be going down the route of an electrical KERS preferred by most teams, as opposed to a mechanical device. According to technical director Aldo Costa the team intends to have a KERS-equipped car ready for the first round but will also be prepared to run the car without KERS. They will not, however, build an entirely separate car designed to run without a KERS fitted. The decision which way to go will be taken next month.
As with most, if not all, the other teams, Ferrari will be shunning a glitzy launch in favour of a low-key roll-out at the Mugello circuit. With the teams working to slash costs, launches will be much more austere affairs than usual.
Schumacher isn’t scheduled to drive it
Since retiring in 2006 Michael Schumacher has continued to test drive Ferrari’s new cars during the pre-season. However with testing mileage tightly restricted in 2009 – there will be no testing between the first and last racesa of the year – the team may prefer to hand most testing duties over to its regular drivers.
Its full time test drivers are Luca Badoer and Marc Gene, who did much of the post-season work at the end of 2008. Schumacher’s future role with the team has yet to be decided.
Technical team changes
Mick Ainsley-Cowlinshaw has joined Ferrari from the defunct Super Aguri team and will take charge of assembly along with Diego Ioverno. Thierry Baritaud has been placed in charge of KERS development.
Massimo Rivola has been recruited from Toro Rosso, where he was team manager, and will be responsible for logistics.
While Chris Dyer moves up to a new role in track engineering his role as Kimi Raikkonen’s race engineer will be taken by Andrea Stella. Rob Smedley remains Felipe Massa’s race engineer.
Mario Almondo has moved from the race team to the road car division, and his former title of operations director has been abolished.
Read more: Ferrari F1 team information
Indian car manufacturer Tata, which owns Jaguar and Land Rover, is to sponsor Ferrari and will have its logo on the car:
Despite winning the constructors’ champinoship Ferrari will not have the number one on their car because Lewis Hamilton won the drivers’ title. Their cars will be three and four, with Felipe Massa likely to get number three as he finished ahead of Kimi Raikkonen in the drivers’ championship last year.
Read more: 2009 F1 drivers and teams
As with all the other teams, Ferrari’s car will be built to the 2009 rules which means low and wide front wing, tall and narrow rear wing, simple diffuser and no aerodynamic flip-ups on the sidepods. What little we’ve seen of 2009-style F1 cars hasn’t been pretty, giving the F2009 the potential to be the ugliest Ferrari since the 312B3 ‘Spazzaneve’.
With the first race still over two months away, expect substantial revisions to the F2009’s aerodynamic package before the Scuderia makes it to Melbourne.
See pictures of last year’s Ferrari F2008 launch: Ferrari reveal their 2008 F1 car: the F2008