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Ferrari F2012/150° Italia - overhead comparison 16 February 2012

The new Ferrari is so radically different to its predecessor that it represents a completely fresh start for the Scuderia in terms of the fundamental parameters of the car's layout. The wheelbase is at least 8cm longer and there is now pull-rod suspension at the rear. Introduced by Red Bull back in 2009, the pull-rod system had been copied by every team by the end of 2011, except Ferrari and Sauber (who run Ferrari gearboxes). Interestingly, the Italian team have also introduced the pull-rod concept at the front of the F2012, the first time this has been attempted since the Gabriele Tredozi-designed Minardi back in 2001. Viewed from above, the changes are clear to see. The nose (1) is positioned higher, is flatter and squarer in shape and much shorter in length than that of 2011's 150° Italia. The front (2) and rear wings were evaluated at last season's final races, but the stepped nose (3), which now drops from the maximum chassis height of 625mm to the newly-regulated 550mm, is new. You can tell that the wheelbase has been extended from the revised angle of the front suspension wishbones (4), but because of the large loads placed on the almost horizontal pull-rod link at the front, its dimensions are very similar to a more traditional push-rod link. At the request of Fernando Alonso, the driver's seat is much more upright (5). The crash structures at the front of the sidepods have been integrated within a wing section (6) and attached to the boomerang winglet. The undercut at the floor is much wider (7) and there is a much bigger footstep beneath (see yellow dotted line) as a result of the more pronounced 'cola bottle'-shaped bodywork (8). The radiators are much smaller (9) and have been installed differently. At the back, to allow the rear to be as low as possible, there's a longer and less tall gearbox to compliment the new pull-rod suspension (10). The exit of any hot air is concentrated in a central hole around the gearbox, whilst the gearbox radiator is on top of the gearbox casing.