The F2007 is the fifty third single-seater built by Ferrari specifically to compete in the Formula 1 World Championship. The project, known internally as the 658, represents the Scuderia's interpretation of the technical regulations that apply for 2007, with changes principally concerning safety, through the introduction of more stringent front and rear crash tests and the addition of a composite material structure to provide lateral protection to the sides of the driver. These modifications have led to a significant increase in the weight of the car, in the region of just under ten kilogrammes.
The F2007 chassis has been significantly modified when compared to the 248 F1. The design was revised to accommodate a new front suspension that represents a major conceptual innovation, mainly in terms of aerodynamics. The shape of the side-pods and their openings are also revised, based on modifications to the cooling system, which also implies exits for the radiators on the upper part of the bodywork, while the engine air intake is also substantially different.
The car has a longer wheelbase than its predecessor. The rear of the car is much narrower, taking advantage of the more sculpted shape of the gearbox housing, which again this year is made from carbon fibre. The gearbox itself, which is still mounted longitudinally, is fitted with an innovative quick-shift system (seven plus reverse).
The rear suspension is similar to that on the 248 F1, but a significant development programme is planned in this area, in order to get the most out of the system, based on making progress in understanding the behaviour of the 2007 tyres. The front and rear aerodynamic configuration is also expected to change considerably before the start of the World Championship. The position of the rear view mirrors seen on the 2006 car remains unchanged and the same goes for the exhaust system.
In accordance with the regulations that come into force this year, the basic structure of the engine remains the same as the one homologated at the end of last season. Therefore, the 056 engine continues as a load bearing member and is again mounted longitudinally. Based on what is permitted in the regulations, the following modifications have been carried out to the engine signed off with the FIA in October 2006:
* the combustion chamber, the valves, the inlet and exhaust chambers, all aimed at optimising the torque curve, given the engine rev limit of 19,000 rpm;
* the piston, the piston pin and the piston cooling jets to aim for the best possible reliability when running at the limit of 19,000 rpm;
* the fluid systems (water and oil) and components to facilitate the integration of the 056 into the new car.
As usual, during the design and development phase of the complete car, the technical partners played an important role. A significant part was played by Shell in terms of fuel and lubricants, by the Fiat Research Centre in the use of simulation systems and by Brembo in developing the braking system. As is now traditional, a great deal of attention was paid to the performance and optimisation of the materials used, to the design stage and to quality control, striving to maximise the performance level and to ensure the highest possible standard of safety.