Ferrari launches the 248

Ferrari has unveiled its new car for 2006. This will be called the 248 F1 and will be raced by Michael Schumacher and Felipe Massa. The designation goes back to old Ferrari traditions of the engine configuration, with 24 being for the 2.4-litre capacity and 8 being for the number of cylinders. The car has been running in recent days in Italy but the launch took place at the Mugello circuit where the new livery was seen for the first time. Vodafone is bigger than in previous years and Acer has increased in size but the new Martini & Rossi sponsorship is less exciting than expected with only a small area on the nose of the car.

The design reflects the changes in the regulations with smaller radiators and this tighter packaging of the car. It also reflects some of the aerodynamic concepts seen last year on the McLaren and Renault cars, notably a lower nose and curved rear wings. The car features the mirros mounted out on the edge of the sidepods which will mean that they will be in an area where the air flow is already disrupted by the front wheels, which should mean that air flow around the cockpit will be a lot smoother and therefore more efficient.

The new car will now undergo considerable testing before it goes head-to-head with the other new F1 cars and it will be interesting to see whether the result is an improvement on last year. The cars will carry numbers five and six this year rather than the habitual number 1, evidence that things need to improve at Maranello.

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