Domenicali: F2012 is “not so pretty… but that doesn’t count”

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Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali admits the team’s new car is unattractive but says its performance is more important.

Speaking following the unveiling of the new Ferrari F2012, Domenicali said: “Well, actually, it’s not really so pretty from my personal perspective.

“But this is a value that doesn’t count in Formula 1. As you know these kinds of choices are coming from both technical and regulations constraints. And the choice is to try to maximise the performance of the car.

“And as our chairman has already said the fact that it is ugly or very nice doesn’t count a lot. The most important thing is that the car has to be performing. And in that respect we will see really if it’s true or what is the level of our competitiveness at, I would say, just the qualifying at the Grand Prix in Melbourne.”

Ferrari F2012

Domenicali said the car was the product of a change in direction from the team: “I’ve asked for a change in the approach of the design of the car and what you can see from the car we have launched just now, it’s for sure very different.

“It’s a different approach both from the mechanical point of view and also from the aerodynamic point of view. So that is for sure something that it seems we have achieved. But I will be happy only when I will see that this car will be competitive.”

He expects the same teams to be competitive in 2012 and said he’s not underestimating Mercedes:

“I would say that the competition will be against the usual drivers and teams. They are all very strong, I respect all of them. I would say as always we have Red Bull, McLaren, Mercedes – do not underestimate them because for sure they want to show how good they are after some difficult seasons.

“And we have Kimi [Raikkonen] back again. I know that he is very strong. He will want to show his level of competitiveness, because he is very, very strong.

“So I think it will be a very interesting season, I’m very convinced about it. There will be a lot of drivers who will want to fight for the win.”

Domenicali added that 2012 will be an important year for the sport: “There are a lot of political things we need to address. We need to make sure the regulations are right for the future. We will guarantee the transfer of technology from F1 to the road car side.

“We need to make sure that the commercial for the future will consider the need of the tifosi (fans), the need of the tracks, of the organiser, of the television, the media and the new media, and we need to actively go to the young generation.

“So a lot of points that, for sure, are important. Because we as Ferrari have been in Formula 1 since the first day, and we want to stay there for a long, long time.”

Ferrari have also confirmed an extension of their sponsorship from Santander, who will back the team until 2017.

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Image © Ferrari spa/Ercole Colombo

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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61 comments on “Domenicali: F2012 is “not so pretty… but that doesn’t count””

  1. Domenicali: F2012 is “not so pretty… but that doesn’t count”

    That’s strange, because I can’t recall the last time a genuinely-ugly car won anything with any consistency. And I think “not so pretty” does not do the F2012 justice – it’s an eyesore, a weird mix of the best parts from everyone else’s cars with an exhaust pod and stepped nose tacked on. I genuinely hope this car doesn’t win anything in 2012 – not because it’s Ferrari, but because it’s ghastly.

    1. F2001 was as ugly as this one at first sight.

      1. And how long ago was that?

        Over a decade. It doesn’t exaclty inspire confidence when an ugly car only wins once every ten years.

      2. I utterly disagree. The car was no looker, but compared to this – as someone perfectly put it – Owen Wilson nose, the F2001 was a design mastierpiece.

      3. @matt88 , @dennis – I thought the F2001 was a clean and excellent looking car.

        1. Yeah, I kinda like it now, but when it was launched, the journalists immediately dubbed it ‘Formichiere’ (‘anteater’).
          The fact is that aestethics are always a subjective matter, maybe in a 10 years’ time we’ll appreciate also the F2012…

        2. The Sri Lankan
          3rd February 2012, 23:01

          me too

      4. F2001 is a pretty car theres no comparison to this still I must say no team seems to get more affected by having ugly cars than Ferrari a brand that sell for its beauty.

      5. The F2001 was wonderful, although the nose was perhaps too low. It certainly wasn’t such a weird solution as Williams’ walrus nose or this step nose.

        1. I loved the walrus nose, it’s a shame it didn’t work!

    2. Aside from the nose it’s not that bad. There’s some interesting concepts with the tiny side-pods and then the huge sweeping bodywork to where the exhausts exit. Although the exhausts seem to be pointing right at the suspension and brakeducts, could cause some issues during testing. They’ve also done what McLaren did last year with the dual intakes in the roll-hoop, probably a result of the small side-pods.

      1. Aside from the nose it’s not that bad.

        Aside from the nose, it’s just the best ideas of 2011 that have been mixed together. I’m seeing Toro Rosso’s sidepods, McLaren’s double airbox and Red Bull’s sculpting around the rear wnd.

      2. Both Mclaren and Ferrari pointed the exhaust towards the brake ducts as we know teams design sculpted wings on the inside of the ducts maybe with some hot and cold blowing by using the heat of the exhaust to heat another chamber that leads to the rear end off course not directly from the exhaust

    3. “That’s strange, because I can’t recall the last time a genuinely-ugly car won anything with any consistency.”

      Uh, completly subjective.

      As far as im concerned, the Redbull since 2009 onwards has been one of the most awkward/hideous looking beasts ive ever seen.

      I wish people would stop this whole ‘if it looks quick….’ No, just no.

      1. This.

        I really can’t wait for the season to start so that we can have comments other than “This car is going to be fast because I personally find it pretty”.

      2. Beauty isn’t completely subjective though, we can predict on average how other people will feel and therefore to some extent generalise. We can ’empathise’ based on our experience of what others feel as well as ourselves. It’s the same reason why if I put a dog turd in front of your nose I can reasonably predict you won’t want to continue sniffing it to soak in the ‘beautiful’ aromas and instead tell me to kindly remove said turd and replace it with a fresh loaf of bread (or whatever).

        Prisoner Monkeys has his own opinion fine, but perhaps he read the other comments on here as well before calling it genuinely-ugly.

        I dunno, maybe I need to read Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance again.

        1. And its not just predictable, but there are also good indications that the apprehension of beauty has its origins in recognising the better solutions.

          I think that a team saying their own car is not much of a looker, and then adds that is not really important has already got itself on the backfoot, because it shows they have some doubt of having found the best solution.

          I cannot imagine Newey not liking how his car would look.

      3. Most people think the Red Bull looks fine.

    4. I thought the Brawn was pretty ugly, the F2007 wasn’t that pretty either.

      1. Me too. That Brawn was really awful.

      2. I loved both actually.

    5. tbh I prefer it to last years Red Bull.

    6. terribly sorry !!!!!!!!!!!!!when was the last year when Ferrari hasn’t won a single GP
      whatever you like it or not this car will win at least a Gran prix especially with Alonso behind the steering wheel
      in 2009 did you hoped the same thing with that ugly Brawn??????????

      1. I will say 2005 because i can’t count that ridiculous supposed win.

    7. But, @prisoner-monkeys, the regulations leave little room and most teams, for now, have decided to choose this kind of nose, so it isn’t a special characteristic of this car but of most cars. All are ugly, this is certainly uglier but that doesn’t mean its performance will be as bad.
      In a certain way I’d like this car to fail miserably, because I don’t want it to be remembered amongst the best Ferraris, but I also don’t because Alonso and Massa deserve better.

    8. Yes, but if all the cars are ugly then it doesn’t matter a great deal does it?

    9. There are plenty of cars that looked ugly initially, but they grow on you when they start winning. Everyone thought the raised nose was ugly on the Benetton. This is what prompted Martin Brundle to say “They all look good on the podium.”

  2. I agree, hope it will be competitive.

  3. 2012 looks like a great season to be a driver, so you don’t have to look at the car…

  4. Ferrari has the worst car in 2012 Season,Lets see Red Bull if its design is better than Ferrari,We saw the McLaren,Caterham,And Force India already,But for Performance i gotta say McLaren might win on that

    1. How did you come to that conclusion?

  5. petebaldwin (@)
    3rd February 2012, 12:47

    “Well, actually, it’s not really so pretty from my personal perspective but this is a value that doesn’t count in Formula 1.”

    No no no no NO! That statement is completly wrong and for it to be coming out of Ferrari is just… well… I don’t really know what to say!

    Ferrari saying that beauty isn’t important – just speed. Wow.

    1. Whats shocking about that?

      People seem to be mixing Road car philosophies with F1. F1 catagorically has _zero_ to do with looks. Its about maximising performance. Road cars on the other hand, they are built with performance AND looks in mind, since people want to look ‘cool’ in supercars.

    2. I’d say everything between the 456 and the 458 illustrates they weren’t taking aesthetics too seriously.

      1. I still liked the 360, and thought the Enzo was interesting and exciting if not pretty. I thought the 612, California and 430 were particularly gawky though. The 550 and 575 weren’t that bad, and I don’t think the 599 looks too bad. You are probably right about the 456 and 458 being highlights though, but the 456 was a bit understated and a little plain for a Ferrari, even if it was quite pretty.

    3. In 2008/09 wasn’t everyone saying how ugly the new cars were, and now they’re some kind of benchmark for the 2012 cars? Look, all the F1 cars are a bit off since they have introduced the small r wing and the large f wing. IT MEANS NOTHING to the racing.

      This car might look weird, especially at the nose, but if it wins it wins…..and in three years you’ll be using it as a benchmark.

      I find it a bit ridiculous that people are saying an ugly car cannot be fast. I really expected more from my fellow F1 fans.

  6. As a bit of a Ferrari fan, I can only hope that this ugly duckling grows up to have the grace of a swan.

    1. Yeah good luck with that one, the expression you can’t polish a turd springs to mind thats as a non team specific F1 fan.
      (Although im leaning slightly toward Mclaren this season)

      1. the expression you can’t polish a turd springs to mind

        That’s why I’m hoping :p

    2. I shall dub this year’s cars “The Swanheads”.

      1. And I shall dub them “The Turds”

  7. Just more competitive than last year. of course the most competitive would be welcome.

  8. It is a really, really pretty car…until you see the nose.

    1. I thought it’s totally ugly in terms of level of Ferrari. but I tried what you said. Yeah, It’s really pretty except nose. Oh my…

    2. I dunno, there are bits where I’m like, wow that’s beautiful, like the side pods, but then I see the engine cover and… eww.

      I think, I really think people are jumping on the omg the noses are ugly band wagon. I don’t think it’s all that bad, they are definitely different. But it’s hardly the ugliest thing we have seen in the last few years,

      On the plus side, maybe people will forget it when the go back to complaining about DRS.

      1. I actually don’t mind the noses except on the Ferrari.

  9. Am I right in saying everything behind that Roman nose is set for the season as per the crash test? (Which this thing failed despite looking so bulky).

    i.e. there’s no chance of them hiding a nose for the moment then pulling out come testing?

  10. Domenicali stated:

    And we have Kimi back again. I know that he is very strong. He will want to show his level of competitiveness, because he is very, very strong.

    Raikkonen was one of the very few drivers to win the driver’s championship in their first season at Ferrari.

    What are the odds that he’ll do the same at Lotus F1??


    1. Less likely than Schumacher doing I think.

      I don’t think Lotus are as strong as they once were.

      1. @mike They certainly can’t do a much worse job than they did of developing the car last season.

    2. About 1 in 1 billion.

      1. you taking bets on that ;) coz I might place a quid on it.

        1. @JohnH You’re more generous than me! :P

  11. i realy hope that mclaren,or the teams that will copy mclaren’s nose,should win the first couple races in order to make ferrari and the other teams with these ugly noses to abandon their noses and copy mclaren’s

  12. i don’t remember an ugly car winning the championship. Being the exception maybe the ferrari 312t3 in 1979.
    I have to wait for the red bull, but i think vettel is the chosen one for this year’s crown.

  13. Maybe this chassis is so odd looking because of the parts that we haven’t seen yet. I doubt the the front and rear wings shown will have little in common with what will be raced. I have to be honest and say I am kind of dissapointed by what initially came through the site last night. There was a lot of talk about how radical this car was going to be and so far it does not seem that different. More of an evolution thing…
    How is it the the McLaren is so much better looking from the onset? Why have a Ferrari nose when the McLaren nose not only looks better but also has to meet the tech rules. One of these teams either has it wrong or has over reacted to the height rule.
    Waiting for a new Ferrari Grand Prix car is something I have been keen on for each of the past 35 seasons. This car so far rates as the biggest dissapointment yet seen. Perhaps race day will set that straight.
    I really wanted Ferrari to extinguish the Red Bull flame this year. Time will tell, maybe they are nothing more than box of matches.

    1. You people are going crazy. An ugly nose doesn’t mean it will be slow.

      1. agree, but history says otherwise.

  14. Are F1 cars really that attractive in general? The real beauty is the way they are engineered to shave every tenth of a second off the lap time. If Ferrari have chosen a stepped nose rather than the McLaren slanted one it’s because they think it will be faster on the track.

  15. The cars with the stepped nose don’t look pleasant but I’m not looking at F1 as a fashion parade.

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