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Ferrari presents F2005



In stark contrast to the sunshine that awaits the world of Formula 1 in Melbourne in a few days time, Maranello snow provided the backdrop to the unveiling of the car that will carry Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro's hopes of retaining the Constructors' and Drivers' Championship titles this year.

The F2005 will not be making the trip to Australia, as Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello will start the year at the wheel of the F2004 M, the modified version of last year's car. This will allow extra time for development and track testing of the new car and its 055 engine, prior to its debut after the first few grands prix.

With the car presentation taking place so near to the start of the year, it was a more low key and traditional launch than those of the past few years. Ferrari Managing Director Jean Todt started the proceedings by calling President Luca di Montezemolo, Schumacher, Barrichello and test drivers Luca Badoer and Marc Gene to pull the wraps off the new car, which technical director, Ross Brawn later described as the "best we have built to date."

"As always, this is an emotional moment, as we see the car that will defend the colours of this company in the forthcoming championship," began Todt. "The Ferrari team is on great form and we want to repeat the successes of the past few years. We want to maintain our position and I would say I will to win is even stronger now."

Ross Brawn then explained all the changes on the car, the majority as a result of the new technical and sporting regulations introduced for 2005. "Obviously, the biggest changes concern the aerodynamics, with a raised a front wing, the rear one moved further inboard, and the floor and diffuser also undergoing modifications," explained the Englishman. "In addition there have been various safety improvements."

Brawn felt that the rule banning tyre changes during the grands prix would make for interesting racing. "It will revive something of the old F1," he commented. "The ability to run a set of tyres for the whole race will be a key factor and make for fascinating and spectacular racing."

Brawn also touched on the organisation of the team: "Last year we began a process of renewal and Aldo Costa is now overseeing the design and development of the car, while Rory Byrne has what could be called a more "paternal" role. But all the changes have gone through smoothly, without causing any shocks, as they have all taken place within the Ferrari philosophy that characterises our team."
 

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FEBRUARY 25, 2005

Ferrari launches the new F2005

Ferrari has unveiled the new F2005 which will be used later this year by the Italian team. The team will begin testing with the car immediately and will continue unfettered by the gentleman's agreement between the other teams which have agreed to restrict their testing in order to cut costs. Ferrari has refused to join this initiative and so will undoubtedly gain some advantage from this although all victories that the team achieves this year (if there are any) will be overshadowed by the fact that the team had more testing than the opposition. Ferrari makes no secret of the fact that it thinks it is more important that the other F1 teams and should be paid more. This is the major stumbling block in the recent dealings between the teams and the F1 commercial rights holder.

"Ferrari has always been special and is tied to F1 just as F1 is tied to Ferrari," said Jean Todt. "It helped to create what F1 is today. It is like in the movies where the stars get paid more. Ferrari is a star and wants to be paid like a star. The others might be frustrated but they would demand the same if they were in our situation."

It is an interesting argument but one that may backfire on Ferrari as the other teams are now intent on pushing ahead without Ferrari, which would leave the Italian company with no-one credible to race against if there are two series in 2008.

The new car is a development of the successful F2005 but features an interesting nose arrangement with an auxiliary front wing under the nose. The team says that it is the best car that it has ever produced but the team is still not sure whether it will be enough to hold off the attack of the other teams - even if Ferrari does have a testing advantage.

The most interesting thing about the new car is probably the fact that it features Fiat branding on the nose. It is unlikely that this will involve any money, given Fiat's current financial state but may involve technology transfer.
 
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