Stefano Domenicali insists that the look of the new Ferrari F2012 will count for little after mixed response to the stepped nose on the team's latest F1 challenger.
With regulations stating that the front section of the nose has to be lower than in previous years, Ferrari has become the latest team to go with a stepped nose, albeit with a much more radical design than either Caterham or Force India.
Ferrari insisted in its launch release that the nose isn't 'aesthetically pleasing' but while he agreed that it didn't make for an attractive car, Domenicali said looks would count for little if the car was successful on track.
“It isn't so pretty to me, but this is a value that counts for little in F1,” he said. “There are some technical constraints that we have worked to, and we have tried to maximise the potential of the car with the design. Like our chairman has said, it doesn't matter if the car looks nice or not – it is all down to how it performs.
“My challenge now is to keep the people who work at Ferrari motivated and make sure that everyone is working in the same way. There are a lot of expectations on us this season and we know that, and we need to make sure we stay fully focused on the job.
“Our new car is a different approach mechanically and aerodynamically and I will only be happy when I can see the car being competitive.”
Chief designer Nikolas Tombazis also defended the appearance of the car and said it would only be ugly if it didn't win on track.
"The nose has an ungainly shape on the top, and that is the result of the regulation that requires us to have the nose quite low but the dynamic desire to have the lower part of chassis as high as possible,” he said. “Even though it is not aesthetically pleasing, we believe it is the most efficient aerodynamic solution for that area of the car.
"There have been some rumours saying that this car is ugly and I have to confess that I am not objective on that, as I don't share that opinion. For me I have got used to the bump on the nose. I think the rest of the car has been the fruit of a lot of detailed work.
"As far as I am concerned, an ugly car is one that doesn't win and a beautiful car is one that does win. So, for now, I want to believe it is a beautiful car and we will have to review that after the first few races."