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Ferrari unveil the F150 in Maranello 28 Jan 2011

Ferrari F150 front view. Ferrari F150 Studio Images, Maranello, Italy, 28 January 2011. Fernando Alonso (ESP) and Felipe Massa (BRA) unveil the Ferrari F150. Ferrari F150 Launch, Maranello, Italy, 28 January 2011. Ferrari F150 rear view. Ferrari F150 Studio Images, Maranello, Italy, 28 January 2011. Ferrari F150 front three-quarter view. Ferrari F150 Studio Images, Maranello, Italy, 28 January 2011. Ferrari F150 rear three-quarter view. Ferrari F150 Studio Images, Maranello, Italy, 28 January 2011.

Ferrari became the first team to launch their 2011 challenger on Friday, as Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa took the wraps off the F150. Ferrari hope the new car - named to mark the 150th anniversary of Italy’s unification - will return the Scuderia to championship glory after they missed out on both 2010 titles.

The design of the F150 incorporates the numerous 2011 regulation changes, including an adjustable rear wing and the return of KERS, as well as the removal of items now banned, such as F-ducts and double diffusers.

“The major aspects with the most impact on the project were connected to the aerodynamic development,” explained technical director Aldo Costa. “The double diffuser, the F-duct, is gone. The driver can’t change the car’s aerodynamic set up anymore. The underbody won’t have any ‘holes’ in the central part anymore. This is a fundamental change.

“The rear wing will be movable, so that the driver can overtake the car in front of him and use it in the qualifying according to his needs. The KERS is back. Although we’ve improved its size, it’s still quite big. Therefore the technicians had to redesign the car’s layout.”

The front part of the F150 monocoque appears higher than its F10 predecessor’s and the openings for the side air intakes have been reduced in size. The rear suspension features a new design, while that at the front has been modified, following changes to the front part of the chassis. The exhaust system layout is similar to that adopted by Ferrari for the second half of last season and the cooling system has had to take into account the return of KERS and the new air exit ducts. The braking system has also been completely redesigned.

The F150 will begin its on-track testing programme alongside its rivals at Valencia in Spain next week and, as is the norm, Ferrari expect much to change - at least aerodynamically - on the car before it races for the first time at March’s season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix.

“The car’s evolution has been planned with two big stages: one during the winter tests, where we will mainly develop the area of the mechanics, which means that the car’s structure, the chassis, the gearbox and the suspension will remain the same for the first couple of races,” said Costa. “The aerodynamics is simplified and temporary for the first tests, waiting for the real aerodynamic development for the first race.”

Ferrari finished third in the 2010 constructors’ championship behind Red Bull and McLaren, while Alonso was narrowly beaten to the drivers’ title by Sebastian Vettel. After that experience, it’s not just Ferrari’s car that’s new for 2011. There have also been management changes within the team.

“We’ve restructured the team of the track engineers,” explained team principal Stefano Domenicali. “There are the vice technical director, Pat Fry, who coordinates Alonso’s and Massa’s engineers, Andrea Stella and Robert Smedley respectively, and technical director Aldo Costa, who remains the head coordinator regarding all technical aspects. We had a further improvement regarding strategies, introducing a new person with several different experiences, Neil Martin.”

And regarding his driver line-up, Domenicali insisted both Alonso and Massa are ready to put the disappointments of 2010 behind them, as the Spaniard enters his second season racing for the team and the Brazilian his sixth.

“They are very motivated and ‘charged’,” said Domenicali. “I’ve seen them in the last weeks and we spent some time together in Madonna di Campiglio during the Wrooom week. I have to say that they understand that this is, for many reasons, a very important year for them and they know that we all have to give it our all.”

The next teams to reveal their new cars will be Lotus, Sauber and Renault next Monday.

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