Ferrari unveil the F2004 in Maranello 26 Jan 2004
Ferrari have officially launched the car they hope will bring them a sixth consecutive constructors' championship this season. The covers came off the F2004 on Monday morning at the team's headquarters in Maranello, Italy.
The new machine is a further evolution of last year's F2003-GA, though every part of the car has been redesigned in a bid to make optimum use of the new Ferrari 053 V10 engine and Bridgestone's latest tyres.
Technical Director Ross Brawn described the car as the best Ferrari they had yet produced, adding that the team had learnt many lessons from last year.
"Our analysis of the 2003 season has highlighted the areas where we were strong and those where we were weak," he said. "Certainly, we did not react aggressively enough to the opportunities presented by the 2003 regulation changes and for 2004, we have worked to ensure that we will not make the same mistake."
The F2004 is lighter than its predecessor, with a lower centre of gravity and improved aerodynamics. Revised front and rear suspension should endow the car with improved handling, as well as allowing it to make more efficient use of its Bridgestone rubber.
The 053 engine and its seven-speed titanium gearbox retain the same layout as in the F2003-GA, but are of an all-new design, using new materials to make the package lighter and smaller.
The new Ferrari has already passed its major FIA crash tests and is expected to make its testing debut later this week at Fiorano with Michael Schumacher at the wheel. The team's test programme will then continue throughout February at Fiorano, Mugello and Imola.
See also: The Ferrari F2004 - in pictures