NEW FERRARI SHOWS ITS COLOURS
Last Updated: Tuesday, 24, January, 2006, 10:44
Ferrari has officially unveiled its new F248 challenger to the world at the team's 2006 launch in Mugello on Tuesday morning.
The team hopes that the new car, which was demonstrated around the Italian track by Michael Schumacher, can bring it back to winning ways after a year in the doldrums.
Ferrari suffered a disastrous 2005 campaign which saw it win only once, in the ill-fated US Grand Prix at Indianapolis.
So technical director Ross Brawn, chief designer Aldo Costa and old hand Rory Byrne have gone back to the drawing board with the 248 F1, which shows a fundamental departure from the team's recent design philosophy.
Principally, the new car features a V-keel front suspension similar to that used on last year's championship-winning Renault R24.
There are several other detailed aerodynamic changes on the car including lower tighter sidepods that are hollowed at the rear, fixed forward pointing mirror stands, shorter exhaust pipes and a new centrally mounted rear-wing.
The team has also decided to continue with its centrally mounted, sprung, mini-wing at the front.
Schumacher was the first man to drive the new car at the team's Fiorano test track last week, but his new team-mate Felipe Massa has also completed 84 laps in it last Friday.
Ferrari upbeat at new car launch
Brawn said he would like to stay on at Ferrari beyond this season
Ferrari have launched their new 248 F1 car first seen in testing last week at the team's Mugello circuit in Italy.
Michael Schumacher took to the track to show off the car which Ferrari hope will restore their fortunes after a disappointing 2006 campaign.
Designer Aldo Costa said: "We are very happy with the way it is performing."
Ferrari confirmed at the launch that Costa's predecessor, Rory Byrne, would be staying on for a further two years as a consultant.
The South African's contract was due to end this year, and Italian Costa was in charge of developing the new 248 F1's design.
Technical director Ross Brawn said: "We've made the final step we wanted to make where Aldo is totally responsible."
Brawn joined Ferrari from Benetton at the same time as Byrne after both had helped Schumacher win his first two titles.
Like team boss Jean Todt, his contract expires at the end of the year, but the Briton said: "I'm very happy at Ferrari, very pleased with the way things are and would very much like to be involved with Ferrari in the future."
Todt has said he wants to focus on making the 2006 season a success for Ferrari before considering his future with the team.
Edited by narain fan, 24 January 2006 - 12:53 PM.