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Rory Byrne working on 2014 Ferrari

3 February 2013

Ferrari rolled out their new F138 on Friday morning at Maranello, and in attendance at the launch event was the team's legendary former chief designer Rory Byrne.

Byrne spoke to German motorsports newspaper Auto Motor und Sport at the event and revealed that he was "working full steam" on Ferrari's 2014 challenger, which will be a very different car from this year's model.

That's because the lack of any major rule changes since last season means that the F138 is a relatively minor evolution on last year's F2012, whereas a whole new technical specification for cars and engines comes into effect in 2014.

"It's a nice car,” Bryne said of the new F138, before adding: "But it's all child's play compared to what awaits us in 2014!"

"The 2014 car will be very different," Ferrari's technical director Pat Fry agreed. "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."

Meanwhile Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo remains unhappy with the decision to force teams to switch from V8 to V6 technology next season.

"A V6 engine is not part of the Ferrari tradition. I continue to maintain, for economic, musical and power reasons that it would be better to stick with eight cylinders," he told journalists on Friday. "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."

The news that the South African-born Rory Byrne is inputting into the 2014 car confirms that his position as a design and development consultant with the team is still ongoing.

Byrne exited the team as its full-time chief designer at the end of the 2006 season when he decided to retire and scale down his working commitments after a decade at Maranello.

During his time at Ferrari, Byrne designed cars that between them won a total of 70 Grand Prix races, making him one of the most successful car designers in the sport - although his mantle has since been taken by Adrian Newey thanks to his recent phenomenal run of wins at Red Bull Racing.

Newey's success has forced Ferrari's team principal Stefano Domenicali to push his design team for even more innovative and "extreme solutions" to try and put them back on an even technical footing with their rivals in 2013.

Auto Motor und Sport quotes one unnamed Maranello insider as hinting that the F138's rear profile actually closely mimics that of the 2012 Red Bull RB8 - except that it pushes the concept even further for the new season.

"We are just waiting for Newey to complain about our rear suspension," the paper quoted the insider as saying.

Red Bull's own new challenger for 2013 is unveiled on Sunday at 1pm, and given Newey's reputation will doubtless raise just as many eyebrows and inspire just as many plaintive appeals to the FIA as his previous cars have managed to do in the past.


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