As well as confirming that Pedro de la Rosa would be taking his renowned development skills to Maranello in 2013, Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali reflected on renewing F1 hostilities with Red Bull and McLaren in the year ahead.
Having come close to snatching the drivers' title away from Sebastian Vettel, despite not having the best car on the grid by a long way, the Scuderia has already admitted that 2013 takes on greater significance, and Domenicali confirmed that there would be no backing off with one eye on the change of regulations that come into force in twelve months' time.
The Prancing Horse has already implemented a structural reshuffle designed to ensure it could achieve the best possible balance between the design and development of the 2013 and 2014 cars and, while the principal admits that the new rulebook will cause a few headaches this season, he remains confident that Ferrari can again be a contender for honours in both campaigns.
“The 2013 season will be a complex one from many points of view,” Domenicali conceded to journalists at the start of the annual Wroom
media event in Italy, “We face a few changes on the technical front which will have a significant impact on all areas of the company, not just in terms of design, but also when it comes to the investment and infrastructure required to develop the new engine.
“Within the limits imposed by the regulations, we need to put every effort into reaching our objectives, while making the best use of the timescale in preparing for 2014, [but] our aim is clear - to win!”
Although Fernando Alonso claimed two race wins – and eleven other podium finishes - in his battle with Vettel, which went right to the wire in Brazil last November, the Ferrari F2012 was far from the most competitive car on the grid, leading the Scuderia to admit that both the initial design and subsequent updates had been compromised by inaccuracies in its Maranello wind tunnel. Recovering from that took precious time and resources from the title bid, but Domenicali insists that there should be no repeat as both Alonso and team-mate Felipe Massa look to hit the ground running from the opening test, at Jerez, early next month.
“The priority is still that of giving our drivers a car that will be competitive right from the very start [of 2013], and the development of that car began in the Cologne windtunnel and is ongoing,” he said, referring to Ferrari's use of the former Toyota F1 facility, “I certainly expect to see greater efficiency than last year because we will no longer need to carry out comparisons of data and correlation with the Maranello windtunnel, which is currently being rebuilt and is due to be operational again after the summer break.”
With the Jerez test a little matter of three weeks away, Domenicali also confirmed that the new car would be unveiled on 1 February at Maranello. That puts the Scuderia squarely between its rivals, with McLaren pegging its unveiling for 31 January and Red Bull opting for 3 January. All three teams are expected to have their 2013 machines on track at Jerez.
Ferrari last week revealed that work has started on a new base for the F1 team at Maranello.
A new building - which will house the offices of the management, engineers and administrative staff along with the working areas of the team - is being built between the current factory and the famous Cavallino restaurant.