As the F138 was being shown off to the journalists for the first time this week, the team's technical minds were already turning to the challenge that lies ahead as a result of the major changes to rules and regulations due to come into effect for the 2014 season.
"The 2014 car will be very different," said technical director Pat Fry on Friday. "Aerodynamically the exhaust effect is changed with the turbo and exhaust positions being different, the front wing development will be new, while the rear wing constitutes another major change."
The looming rule changes for next year limit how much time Ferrari
can afford to put into developing and fine-tuning the 'end of line' F138 this season, Fry admitted.
"[It] means that a lot of our 2013 work will not carry over, which will put an increased work load on aero departments and the design department as well," said Fry. "However, I think the design side is working very well with the changes we made, working in conjunction with the power unit team.
"Having said that, there's a huge amount of work to do on both car projects and we have to get to work early on the 2014 car to be in a good position," he added, explaining that the appointment of two Deputy Chief Designers was crucial to the teams' technical approach to the unique challenge this year. "With some big changes coming through it's a better way to organise ourselves, when we need to run two concurrent car projects."
One of the biggest changes in store will be the new engine regulations, meaning the end of V8 power in F1 - something of particular regret to Ferrari. Team president Luca di Montezemolo was quick to explain that the name of their new 2013 car is intended as a farewell salute to the era of V8 technology that had served the team so well over recent years.
"In the name of the F138, we are paying homage to the eight cylinder engine and the fact this is the last year we will use it," he said.
"A V6 engine is not part of the Ferrari
tradition," di Montezemolo went on to lament. "I continue to maintain, for economic, musical and power reasons that it would be better to stick with eight cylinders.
"But the decision has been taken to build the V6 and if next year, there will be modifications that are in the best interests of F1, then I will even be pleased to see this engine at work," he said. "In fact, I'm sure Ferrari
is capable of building the strongest V6 in the world."