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2012 Ferrari - pre-launch overview 31 January 2012

As this artist's impression from renowned technical illustrator Giorgio Piola shows, the 2012 Ferrari is expected to bear very little resemblance to its predecessors and appears to be the first of a new generation from Maranello. In line with recent trends, the rear suspension is now a pull-rod system, but far more surprisingly, so is the front. The last time this layout was used in F1 was in 2001 on the Minardi PS01 and it's not been seen on a Ferrari for 11 years. Together with a lower nose - stepped where it connects to the chassis to comply with new nose-height regulations - it means the car has a lower centre of gravity. The other big area of innovation is the sidepods and in particular the crash structures at the front of them. These are now separate from the sidepods and instead integrated into two wing-like sections. As a result, the length of the floor's flat section has been significantly reduced, enhancing aero efficiency. The narrow sidepods - containing the inevitable long and narrow radiators - also boost airflow to the rear of the car, where the exhaust exits are positioned in the lower part of the mandatory area specified in the new rules, with the exhaust gases blowing across the lower plane of the rear wing. Another point worth mentioning is that at launch the car is expected to be fitted with older-spec wings and not the newly-designed 2012 items.