Ferrari announces launch date

Ferrari becomes the seventh team to announce a date for unveiling its 2004 challenger after Williams kicked off the launch season last week. The new Ferrari is due to break cover at the team's headquarters at Maranello on January 26th, although a...

Ferrari becomes the seventh team to announce a date for unveiling its 2004 challenger after Williams kicked off the launch season last week. The new Ferrari is due to break cover at the team's headquarters at Maranello on January 26th, although a designation for the chassis is uncertain. Presumably it will be the F2004 but whether it will have the 'GA' addendum as the F2003 has is yet to be revealed.

Ferrari continues with Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello for the fourth year running and Luca Badoer as official test driver. After testing for the Scuderia for a year, Felipe Massa returns to a race seat with Sauber in 2004, although he may be called upon by Ferrari for testing duties if necessary.

2004 looks set to see Ferrari start the new season with a new car after the last two years starting with the previous season's chassis. The F2003-GA did not appear until mid-2003 after the team had a rocky start, but even then it was not plain sailing. Schumacher took his sixth world title by just two points from Kimi Raikkonen, who spent the whole of 2003 racing a year-old McLaren.

While Schumacher and other key figures of the championship-winning squad have signed contracts up to the end of 2006, Barrichello is believed not to have put pen to paper for a new deal. Much speculation surrounds the Brazilian and whether Ferrari will opt for his services for another season after 2004.

Jordan and Minardi have yet to announce launch dates as has McLaren, but the Woking squad already has its new car on track. Jordan starts its winter test schedule on January 20th but drivers have not been confirmed.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Luca Badoer , Michael Schumacher , Rubens Barrichello , Kimi Raikkonen , Felipe Massa
Teams Ferrari , Sauber , McLaren , Williams , Minardi , Jordan