Although the fundamental design philosophy of the new Ferrari F2004 is the same as its predecessors, designer Rory Byrne told the assembled guests at the team's launch that every area of the car had been revised in order to make a further step forward on performance.

Making special reference to the areas of aerodynamic efficiency, centre of gravity and both tyre and engine performance, Byrne said that almost every component had been redesigned. In addition, all the systems have been reviewed to maximise performance and service ability with the new race weekend timetable and procedures that come into force in 2004.

"The engine cover and rear wing assembly have had to be fundamentally revised to comply with the new 2004 regulations," Byrne revealed, launching into an overview of his latest creation, "In order to continue to make a step forward in aerodynamic performance, every area affecting the aerodynamics has been further developed and many new components will be introduced during our test programme in February, so the car we will race in Melbourne will look different in many areas to the one you see here.

"The things that will be obvious will be the front wing, turning vanes and the aerodynamics at the rear of the car. Those will be introduced during February, as soon as possible obviously.

"The reason they are not on there yet is fundamentally because we have pushed the development as hard as possible and we're still making the pieces.

"A new approach to the use of materials for the gearbox casing and the rear crash structure has resulted in a considerable weight saving. The transmission internals are a development of F2003-GA with many detailed refinements including a further optimisation of gear profile and lubrication system.

"Although there are no fundamental changes to the chassis construction, it is completely new in term of shape, which is a result of the cars aerodynamic requirements.

"There are refinements to the power steering system to improve assistance and driver feel. Another year of close collaboration with Bridgestone has improved our understanding of the interaction of track surface, tyre and car, and enabled us to make more detailed refinements to the suspension to optimise performance more specifically for each circuit. Almost all of the components have been redesigned and some have manufactured using new materials and methods to optimise structural efficiency and save weight.

"New regulations requiring manual starts and gear-shifting, as well as the requirement to send information to the new FIA data acquisition system, have required an extensive revision to the electronic hardware and software. The water system as well as engine, transmission and hydraulic oil systems have again been substantially revised for improved efficiency and suit new engine requirements.

"To produce this all new car with most of the components redesigned has required a tremendous effort from all at Gestione Sportiva and I would like to thank everyone for their contribution in producing the F2004."

The F2004 is due to start testing in the hands of world champion Michael Schumacher this week, before launching into an intensive five-week preparation ahead of the Australian Grand Prix.

 

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