Ferrari launched the F2004 at the team headquarters at Maranello on January 26th, the 50th single-seater built by the marque for the Formula One championship. Antonio Ghini, the Ferrari Director of Communication and Brand Management, opened the ...
Ferrari launched the F2004 at the team headquarters at Maranello on January 26th, the 50th single-seater built by the marque for the Formula One championship. Antonio Ghini, the Ferrari Director of Communication and Brand Management, opened the proceedings at the Vecchia Meccanica, a hangar at Maranello. "Last year we presented our new car in the Nuova Logistica at Fiorano; the year before we used the Nuova Meccanica, one of the buildings constructed for 'Formula Uomo'," Ghini explained.
Team principal Jean Todt then invited drivers Michael Schumacher, Rubens Barrichello and Luca Badoer to unveil the F2004. Although Todt had previously hinted the front wing of the new car might be a surprise, such as the innovative design of the new Williams that had everyone talking, the F2004 shows no radical design changes.
Six-time champion Schumacher is not expecting any big surprises in competition this year: "This season will be very much like last year with first one team ahead and then another," he said. "We will just have to see who is ahead at the end but at Ferrari we are determined to continue our success."
The basics of the car are the same as its predecessors but almost every area has been revised, according to designer Rory Byrne.
"Although the fundamental design philosophy of the F2004 is the same as its predecessors, in terms of optimising aerodynamic efficiency, lowering of centre of gravity height and maximising performance available from the Bridgestone tyres and 053 engine, every area of the car has been revised in order to make a further step forward on performance, so almost every component has been redesigned," said Byrne.
Technical director Ross Brawn enthused that the F2004 is the best Ferrari yet: "Once again this car represents another significant step in performance and I am proud to say that this is the best Ferrari we have produced...so far!" he said.
"Our new car will run at Fiorano at the end of this week with Michael driving," Brawn explained of the immediate plans for the F2004. "The programme will then continue for the whole of February at Fiorano, Mugello and Imola. All the major crash testing has already been successfully completed with the second new car and that will join the test programme later in February."
President Luca di Montezemolo naturally hopes that the outcome of the 2004 championship will continue Ferrari's string of successes: "Ferrari has been on top since 1999 and we will do whatever we need to win," he said. "But we know 2004 is going to be a difficult year but I just hope like last year it will have the same conclusion. Last year we started the season missing some opportunities and this year we need to have the commitment from the start."
Engine: Type 053, V10, cylinder block in cast aluminium
Total displacement: 2,997 cm3
Timing gear: Pneumatic distribution, 40 valves
Fuel feed: Magneti Marelli digital electronic injection
Ignition: Magneti Marelli static electronic ignition
Transmission: Ferrari longitudinal gearbox. Limited-slip differential. Semiautomatic sequential electronically controlled gearbox, 7 gears + riverse
Chassis: Carbon-fibre and honeycomb composite structure
Suspension: Independent suspension, push-rod activated torsion springs front and rear
Brakes: Ventilated carbon-fibre disc brakes
Length: 4545 mm
Width: 1796 mm
Height: 959 mm
Wheelbase: 3050 mm
Front track: 1470 mm
Rear track: 1405 mm
Weight with water, lubricant and driver: 605 kg
Wheels (front and rear): 13”