Press Release :

The new Prancing Horse single seater was officially unveiled by the Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro in front of the Italian and world press at Mugello. The new car will compete in the next Formula 1 world championship. The new 248 mark indicates the engine characteristics: 2.4 liter, 8 cylinder.

A Completely New Car from Every Point of View

The traditional press conference held at the presentation of the new single-seater that will compete in the Formula 1 world championship began with the engineers who have developed the car over the past months: Aldo Costa, Ross Brawn and Rory Byrne. Byrne opened and underlined how his role in the company was changing. He was progressively filling a consultancy role for all the new House of Maranello projects and, in particular, regarding the engineering of the cars.

Then came Aldo Costa, creator of the 248 F1, to reflect on Byrne’s role and the characteristics of the car in detail. He declared that: ‘it was mainly to do with the V8 engine and we imposed a radical change from both a mechanical and aerodynamic point of view. The aerodynamics are still at a preliminary stage and will be until the first race of the season. As regards the chassis, this is totally new, above all in the centre section. We decided on this in order to optimize the weight distribution and lighten the entire structure. The same goes for the suspension, especially in the completely redesigned rear end. The transmission too is all new (though constructed from composite materials) and also the differential. In building these two new elements in particular, we had to pay close attention to the characteristics of the V8. The greater vibrations generated by the engine brought more initial problems’.

The gathered journalists then asked questions to which Brawn replied that ‘from the midway point of last season when we realized we could not challenge for the top spots, we began concentrating more on development, especially the blend of the aerodynamic configuration and the characteristics of the new V8. Despite the progress that the Bridgestone tires have made with the reintroduction of tire changes, we expect to see lap times that are a second or two slower than last year’.

After Aldo Costa, Ross Brawn and Rory Byrne came Paolo Martinelli, Formula 1 Engine Director, and Gilles Simon, head of planning and engine development, to face the journalists during the press conference to launch the new 248 F1.

‘It is a totally new project’, began Martinelli. ‘It is a return to the past, as the name of the car demonstrates. We started working on this engine midway through 2004 and then tested it on the bench. Last August it made its first outing, at Fiorano, and in the autumn of 2005 we completed the V8. Now we are close to the final version. Obviously, in the course of the season we will have to cope with a very steep learning curve. Gilles Simon’s success in development was underlined: ‘the calculations were made long ago and even if the regulation changes were related to us rather late in the day, fundamental modifications such as the selection of the centre of gravity had already been made’. ‘The rules outline global constraints but do allow a lot of space for projectual experimentation’, continued Martinelli.

‘The 90° angle was our choice as was settling on the minimum weight for the non-moving parts. The real challenge, however, was lightening the weight of the moving components’. ‘For the first time in ten years a drop in performance was recorded and this was fundamental. The change in power meant some greater investment, but, in the long run, it will be more economical. The overall output of the engine remains unchanged and so some factors were the same as on the V10′. Martinelli also revealed that there had been some dialogue between the engineers who work on road-going cars and those who concentrate on racing models. ‘We met the people who work on GTs and exchange opinion in analyzing problems and the methods to resolve them. It was by no means a one-way communication’ ‘We were certainly on shared ground’, added Simon. ‘However, there are many differences, for example in our time schedules. We made a lot of input and so did they. It was a process of cross contamination’.

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Source: Ferrari Press Release

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