Ferrari unveiled its completely overhauled Formula One car in a low-key Internet presentation Friday after the full launch was canceled due to a snowstorm.
The car was named the F2012, which marks a return to the team’s traditional jargon after last year’s car was called the F150 in honor of the 150th anniversary of Italy’s unification.
“It’s a bit of a unique presentation due to the snow, but I hope it brings us luck,” Ferrari president Luca Cordero di Montezemolo said.
Having won only one race last year, Ferrari began working on the new car midway through last season, with a heavy emphasis on improved aerodynamics.
“We’re hoping it’s competitive right away,” team principal Stefano Domenicali said.
The most visible new features are a series of flaps on the front wings, plus short aerodynamic features on the car’s flanks.
“There were some difficult choices behind the F2012, but they represent our style of looking forward,” Domenicali said, adding that the team wanted a break with past editions. “Technically, there are a lot of new features, both mechanical and in the car’s form.”
While Red Bull and Sebastian Vettel won their second consecutive drivers’ and constructors’ titles last season, Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso finished fourth, teammate Felipe Massa was sixth and the Italian squad finished third in the constructors’ standings.
“We’ve got to be optimistic and confident in ourselves at this point of the year,” Alonso said. “There’s still a lot of intense work to do, many months where we’ve got to be consistent, determined and united as a team.”
Massa hasn’t won a race since a life-threatening accident at the Hungarian Grand Prix in 2009 and his contract expires at the end of this year.
“I’m very confident and convinced that I can do well,” Massa said. “This is a very important year for me and for the entire squad.”
This year’s first test session is next week in Jerez, Spain, while the opening race is in Melbourne, Australia, on March 18.
“We’ve only got 12 days to try the car, to test the characteristics, reliability and try the new tires,” Domenicali said.
Also Friday, Ferrari announced it has extended a sponsorship deal with Banco Santander through 2017.