Ferrari F138 and F2012 compared

2013 F1 season

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Ferrari F138 (2013) and F2012 (2012)

The Ferrari F138 revealed today is an evolution of the car raced in 2012, the team said.

Technical director Pat Fry said: “This year’s car is more evolution than revolution.”

“It’s based on similar concepts and all the little areas of performance we can gain we’ve been after.

“Most of the car has changed subtly, most bits more than others. It’s a development of last year’s, really.”

Ferrari F138 (2013) and F2012 (2012)The aerodynamic performance of the F2012 was a cause for concern at the team and the new car was developed in Toyota’s wind tunnel in Cologne. Fry admitted work on this started later than usual:

“We started two or three months later than would be typical, I suppose, and we’ve got a lot of catching up to do.

“You’ll see quite a lot of changes between the launch car, we’ll have a few different parts at the second test and then another big upgrade for the third and final test. So there’ll be lots of changes coming through.”

Asked if he was happy with the new car Fry said: “I’m never going to be happy until you’re in Melbourne and you’ve got clearly the quickest car!

“I think in terms of the launch car we’ve done a good job on the mechanical installation, the design of it, we’ve hit all our stiffness targets, we’ve saved a lot of weight.

“We can’t hide behind the fact the car in its launch form, aerodynamically, is a long way off where we are in the wind tunnel now.

“So I think we’ll get an idea of what our ultimate performance is come the third test. I’m not going to be happy until we’re clearly quickest.”

The comparison images will not have been taken from the same angles and so some differences between the cars will appear distorted.

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Images ?? Ferrari/Ercole Colombo

Author information

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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37 comments on “Ferrari F138 and F2012 compared”

  1. The panel over the nose makes it look deceptively higher. This comparison shows that it’s not. An interesting illusion…

    1. I’d say the comaprson confirms that it is slightly higher

      1. comparison*

      2. Thats my impression as well @lemon

    2. CarnivorousPope (@)
      1st February 2013, 12:43

      If you compare it to the pirelli logo the 2013 car has a higher nose

      1. I agree that the picture makes it look so but I doubt it is actually higher.

        Surely the whole issue with the step nose is that it came about because teams wanted to get the maximum height allowed by the rules. Surely Ferrari didn’t have a stepped nose and yet not be at the limit already in 2012 which suggests the nose height can’t possibly be any higher (ignoring the vanity panel) than last year otherwise it would be illegal.

        1. that’s what I thought until I saw that Scarbs had figured out an interpretation of the rules that allows you to make the nose higher. It uses the vanity panel and is legal…

          this is possibly what ferrari have done to get such a high nose.

          1. However, if you look closely, the chassis also is a bit higher. This has less or even completely nothing to do with the panel trick and more with that they have risen the chassis. It was told that last year’s chassis was already at its highest. Either that was a false statement or they found they changed the angle of the rake.

    3. Here’s one I made earlier, folks. It’s not great, but shows that they have indeed done was Scarbs was suggesting and found a way to make it higher.

      I’m guessing the end of the noses’ bodywork structure itself not only sits lower, but further back than the panel ends.

      1. It’s also worth noting that the F138 is about 2% bigger in the image above, so I reduced a little accordingly!

      2. @electrolite
        The nose height of 2012 car is not the maximum allowed by the rule book. Thus the 2013 nose could be higher in comparision without exploiting the loophole Scarbsf1 described. On your picture you can see that hte 2013 nose tip is at the same height as the highest point of the piece below the step of 2012 car (I wish i could say that better but hope it makes sense).

        1. Makes sense, don’t worry :)

  2. Is the rear wing different on both photographs of the F138. On the side shot it extends more, but on the top view shot it doesn’t.

  3. Unless it’s just the colouring of the photos, I’m glad they’ve gone back to blood-red rather than ketchup-red. Looks a lot more striking.

    1. It does look a lot darker, I like it better this way too.

  4. Ferrari are already complaining.

    1. Where?

  5. It would be interesting to see the end of season F2012 vs the F138.
    From what I remember the rear end of F2012 looked nothing like it did at the start of the season.

  6. Looks as though the Ferrari and McLaren have gone in a similar direction in terms of the shape of the chassis and the higher nose. Looks set to be an interesting year.

    Great side by side comparisons Keith, they really help put the new car into context.

  7. again, great comparisons, that one of the reasons why f1 fanatic is the best

  8. They use 138, just to avoid having number 13.

  9. The 2012 configuration as shown here is exactly the one that did not work and was abandoned later on. I think it would make more sense to compare F138 with a late-2012 car. I appreciate that it is probably not easy to find such nice side and overhead shots for later versions, but still, I am sure Keith has a much better access to photographs that us ordinary folks, would it be possible to find some suitable shots for comparison? Thanx a lot.

  10. what are these modesty or vanity panels everyone keeps on about?

    1. petebaldwin (@)
      1st February 2013, 16:53

      It’s a oanel that covers the horrible stepped noses. Lotus decided that there was no point in using one because it adds to the weight and it appears that everyone else has found a way of gaining a decent advantage by using them.

      1. petebaldwin (@)
        1st February 2013, 16:53


  11. It’s interesting that a few years ago, once you’d seen the McLaren and the Ferrari you could be pretty sure you’d seen what the fastest car on the grid looked like. Now it’s almost a given that you’ll have no idea how good the Ferrari and McLaren designs really are until you see the Red Bull unveiled, so you can see which one is the most similar to it..

    1. I would say that after last year, its going to be tough to say the Red Bull solution is outright the best. it seems the Ferrari follows the desing of the McLaren a lot here, while Enstone went the Red Bull way (maybe engine has to do something with making that easier?)

  12. Check this comparison:
    I prefer to read all about F1 in F1fanatic (even though Spanish is my mother tongue), Marca is way to much pro-alonso (even though I’m an alonso fan), but let’s recognize their graphics are pretty good.

    1. Nice try from marca but we cant compare the cars in terms of front and rear height because the pictures are not identical and they have been shooted from a little different angle.But its obvious that the old car is wider and the new one uses a lot of parts of the old(they try to hide )

    2. Thx Gabriel!

  13. @Keith:
    “This year’s car is more than an evolution than a revolution.”
    I think the first “than” shouldn’t be there?

    1. Have fixed it, thanks.

  14. On the top view labels are incorrect. F2012 above, F138 below.

    1. No they’re correct.

  15. “We started two or three months later than would be typical, I suppose, and we’ve got a lot of catching up to do.

    a championship winning car thats started late and rushed, these two things don’t go together…..

  16. At least is not an ugly car like the one in 2012! :P

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