Car launch season is upon us with a few teams setting up release dates for their 2010 challenger. Ferrari have not released their launch date as of yet, but according to crash.net the car may look similar to another car that has already been on the grid.
F1 technical artist Giorgio Piola has indicated that the new Ferrari takes many design cues from the Red Bull RB5 that ran so well last year. The Adrian Newey designed RB5 was the closest challenger to the Brawn GP cars for most of the season. The wheel base of the car has been apparently extended by about 15 cm, which has it fall in line with most of the other cars on the grid. Ferrari utilized a shorter wheelbase last year during the worst campaign the Italian marquee has seen in 20+ years. If these specifications are true, the Ferrari will hope to capitalize on a new front nose and higher cockpit as well as a RBR design inspired diffuser at the back of the car.
What does this say about Ferrari however? In the past, Ferrari had set the standard in car design with many teams imitating pieces and design tactics. There has been a wind of change over the last few years however and Ferrari now finds itself playing catch-up to these same teams. Is this a sign of more trouble to come in Maranello? You have the one of the best drivers on the grid on board but you are taking design cues from Red Bull, a team that broke out in 2009 but had little to no success previous. The launch of the “281” as it is designated in the factory is yet to be determined, but I think it may be safe to say the days of teams wanting Ferrari design cues may be all but gone. What is your opinion? Is Ferrari technical design as relevant as it once was? Will the greatest team in F1 history be playing catch up all year to the Mercedes and Red Bull?