With the northern Italian town of Maranello draped in snow, Ferrari's launch of its 2012 F1 contender - the F2012 - went ahead with the aid of the internet. It may not have had the same pizzazz, but the show did go on....

New for 2012

The main changes from last year include revisions to the front height, position of the exhaust outlet, changes to the electronic engine controls, the use of pull-rods to operate the suspension for better aerodynamics and a lower center of gravity.

Along with repositioned radiators, the most obvious change is to the rear, where exhaust flows as well as aerodynamic air flows have been impacted by the new regulations that stipulate the exhausts must now exit within a very tight space at the rear of the car in order to minimize their aerodynamic influence. The final 100 mm of the exhausts must be cylindrical - no longer oval or flattened, and must be sited at a particular vertical and horizontal angle - between 10 and 30 degrees upwards so as to direct the exhaust away from the floor. With the aid of a new gear casing, this area has been able to be narrowed. The hydraulically adjustable "wing" has been retained, and brake outfit, Bembo, has assisted in further revision of the brake system.

Engine

Engine-wise, most effort has been expended on increasing longevity rather than power, with the result that it can be counted on to last three races with minimal performance degradation. Given the reduced time allowed for pre-season testing - down from 15 to 12 days - and just the three official test sessions and the need to dial in the chassis to suit the Pirelli tires and the new aerodynamics, this may prove very beneficial.

Specifications:

Chassis

  • Carbon-fibre and honeycomb composite structure
  • Ferrari longitudinal gearbox
  • Limited-slip differential
  • Semiautomatic sequential electronically controlled gearbox - quick shift
  • Number of gears: 7 +Reverse
  • Brembo ventilated carbon-fibre disc brakes
  • Independent suspension, pull-rod activated torsion springs front and rear
  • Weight with water, lubricant and driver: 640 kg
  • OZ Wheels (front and rear): 13"

Engine

  • Type: 056
  • Number of cylinders: 8
  • Cylinder block in sand cast aluminium V 90°
  • Number of valves: 32v
  • Total displacement: 2398 cm3
  • Piston bore: 98 mm
  • Weight > 95 kg
  • Electronic injection and ignition
  • Fuel: Shell V-Power
  • Lubricant: Shell Helix Ultra