INDIANAPOLIS, Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2001 -- Ferrari has unveiled the car it will use to defend the FIA Formula One World Championship it won last year, and team members have vowed to win the title again. "I can say it flatly we want to win the world...
INDIANAPOLIS, Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2001 -- Ferrari has unveiled the car it will use to defend the FIA Formula One World Championship it won last year, and team members have vowed to win the title again. "I can say it flatly we want to win the world title again in 2001," said Ferrari President Luca Montezemolo when the car was unveiled Jan. 29 at the team's headquarters in Maranello, Italy. "We have the means, the determination and strong drivers to achieve it." Last year, Michael Schumacher became the first driver to win the Drivers Championship in a Ferrari since Jody Scheckter in 1979. Ferrari also earned its second consecutive Constructors Championship last season. "We are looking forward with confidence," Schumacher said. "The driver's title took a lot of pressure away. We want to keep the number 1 on Ferrari for many years and begin a Ferrari era. We will fight for this. My motivation couldn't possibly be higher."
Schumacher, who will carry the prestigious number 1 on his car in all 17 Grand Prix races this season, predicted that Ferrari's main competition this season will come from West McLaren-Mercedes teammates Mika Hakkinen and David Coulthard.
Called the F2001, the new car was designed by Rory Byrne, who also created last year's car that won 10 Grands Prix, including the inaugural SAP United States Grand Prix at Indianapolis. The car is powered by a Ferrari V10, model number 050, and hooked to a seven-speed longitudinal gearbox. An evolution of last year's car, the F2001 was designed to meet the new rules that call for stronger rollover-hoop protection, stiffer side-impact testing and changes to the front and rear wings to reduce downforce. The team's driver lineup remains unchanged with Schumacher back for his sixth year with the Italian team and Rubens Barrichello back for his second season. Sporting director Jean Todt, technical director Ross Brawn, engine director Paolo Martinelli, chief designer Byrne and test driver Luca Badoer also remain with the team.
"There's exceptional motivation," Todt said, "which is even stronger than in the past. There is even more motivation to continue winning, and we want to keep this number 1 on the car. But we are fully aware that it will be a hard struggle. We are ready for it."