|Designer(s)||Pat Fry (Technical Director)
Nicholas Tombazis (Chief Designer)
|Formula One World Championship|
|Drivers||5. Fernando Alonso
6. Felipe Massa
|Debut||2012 Australian Grand Prix|
The Ferrari F2012 is a Formula One racing car designed by Scuderia Ferrari for the 2012 Formula One season. The car was launched on 3 February at Ferrari's facility in Maranello. The car will be driven by Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa.
Like most 2012-specification cars, the F2012 features a 'stepped nose' to conform to new FIA safety regulations. However, the Ferrari design came in for particular criticism, including from driver Massa.
It has been reported that Ferrari had developed a reactive suspension system - a mechanical device, designed to maintain ride height under braking - which they hoped to use in their 2012 car. A late decision by the FIA though has determined that such devices contravene the regulations as they could improve the aerodynamic peformance of cars, so the system will not feature on the new car.
During testing journalists reported several reports of problems with the car's handling. It understeered travelling into the curve and oversteered as the car came out out of the curve. Ferrari denied that the car was under-performing, but during the Australian Grand Prix both Alonso and Massa went off the track after struggling with the handling, and could only qualify 12th and 17th respectively. Alonso finished the race fifth, while Massa retired after a collision with Williams driver Bruno Senna.
In the week before the Malaysian Grand Prix, Ferrari took the extraordinary step of preparing a brand-new chassis for Massa. Unable to explain the difference between Alonso and Massa's performances in Melbourne, the team prepared the chassis for Massa in the belief that the car he used in Australia was flawed.
In the race, extreme weather conditions led to Alonso taking the lead after round of pit stops. The Ferrari F2012 showed it has very good performance in damp conditions, but as the track started to dry, Sauber had better pace than Ferrari and Pérez cut Alonso's advantage from seven seconds to just half a second. Soon Alonso pitted from the lead and Pérez a lap later, keeping Alonso in first position because Pérez had to drive a whole lap longer on intermediates, while Alonso, having pitted, drove that lap on mediums thus increasing the advantage over Pérez to 5 seconds. Pérez again started chasing down Alonso and again cutting the advantage, but his front tyres began to wear out quickly because of driving just behind Alonso's F2012 which eventually led to Pérez making a mistake, thus having him again more than five seconds behind Alonso. There wasn't enough time to chase him again so Alonso went on to win the race, the first for the brand-new F2012.
In China, the F2012 had a similar gap to the fastest cars, Alonso qualifying ninth and Massa twelfth. In the race, however, Alonso again showed his skill and had a chance to fight for fourth place, but lack of the pace in the final stages of the race, and Alonso going off the track while trying to pass a driver ahead in the middle of the corner led to him taking 9th at the end of the race. Massa finished 14th.
In Bahrain, which did not suit F2012 at all, Massa qualified 14th, and Alonso 9th, having not gone on the track in Q3 in order to preserve tyres for the race. Race itself didn't provide any suprise, Alonso finishing in 7th and Massa in 9th position.
At in-season testing that took place at Mugello circuit, Ferrari tried different solutions of exhaust system in order to improve traction of the car, and to make it less sensitive to throttle position, which makes car much more easier to handle. So they came up with solution which exactly did as mentioned before, but still there were plenty of room for more improvements. Whit that solution, Ferrari set off to Spain.
In Spain, Alonso had set the fastest time in first practice on the Friday, and originally qualified in third place, less than 0.6 of a second behind Hamilton and less than 0.02 seconds behind Maldonado in second. However, Alonso was promoted to second on the grid after Hamilton was excluded from qualifying. In contrast, Felipe Massa was held up in traffic during his Q2 lap and subsequently started from 16th. In the race Alonso managed to get off to a good start and was leading after the second corner, but a variety of factors including traffic and accelerated tyre degradation meant that he eventually finished second behind Maldonado, by fewer than four seconds. Massa was running in the top ten in the early stages of the race, before incurring a drive through penalty following speeding under yellow flag conditions, caused by Schumacher crashing with Senna. Massa finished the race in 15th. This race showed that F2012 was steadily improving it's performance.
In Monaco, both cars made into Q3 for the first time this year, with Alonso qualifying sixth, 0.6 seconds behind the original polesitter Michael Schumacher, with Massa less than 0.2 seconds behind Alonso in 7th, however, Alonso was promoted to 5th following Schumacher's 5 place grid penalty carried over from Barcelona. In the race, both cars showed good pace, with Alonso having the pace to challenge for the lead and Massa looking similar to Alonso on pace. Subsequently, Alonso finished in 3rd place, 0.947 seconds behind the race winner Mark Webber, and Massa in 6th, less than 6.2 seconds behind the race winner Webber. The championship standings after this race shows that Ferrari are in fourth place behind Lotus, and Alonso has regained the championship lead, 3 points ahead of both Red Bull Drivers and a further 10 points ahead of Lewis Hamilton in 4th. This was the second and the last race of Mugello-configuration exhaust.
In Canada, Ferrari made a large step forward in performance, introducing a new exhaust configuration, which, in fact, was the same configuration as launch-spec F2012, but much more improved and adjusted in order to prevent stuff they had at pre-season testing at Jerez, like over-heating of the tyres and too much wear. In qualifying F2012 proved it was competitive enough to fight for the first three rows on the grid. Alonso qualified 3rd, 3 tenths off the pole, and Massa qualified 6th, which was the best result for Ferrari in 2012 up to date. Race started well for Ferrari with Massa immediately pushing hard for positions, but eventually he made a mistake and spun, so that ruined his race. He finished 10th. Alonso was saving tires and it paid off when Vettel pitted. Alonso came into the pits 2 laps later, which allowed him to take the second position. At the second round of pit stops, Hamilton went first to the pits, but both Alonso and Vettel were not set to do the same, and tried to finish the race without pitting. But that strategy was false for both of them, because tyres started to degrade very fast so cars behind were closing and closing and eventually started to attacking Fernando for position. He couldn't manage to hold for long, so he finished the race 5th.
In Valencia, the race saw very interesting turn of events for F2012 as early in the race Sabastien Vettel had gained a very huge lead of about 20 seconds but safety car period eliminated his early lead and an alternator faluire ended his race, Romain Grosjean was also very much in the competition until he also faced same problem as that of Vettel. This led Alonso to take on first position, after starting 11th on the grid. This wasn't the case with Massa whose race was filled with crashes and had to finish 16th.
|Chassis||carbon-fibre and honeycomb composite monocoque|
|Front suspension||Independent suspension, pullrod activated torsion springs|
|Rear suspension||Independent suspension, pullrod activated torsion springs|
|Tyres||Pirelli P Zero (dry), Cinturato(wet)|
|Weight||640 kg (including driver, water and lubricant)|
|Engine||Ferrari Type 056 2,398 cc (146 cu in) V8 (90°) Naturally aspirated, 18,000 RPM limited with KERS, mid-mounted|
|Gearbox||Ferrari 7 speeds + reverse Semi-automatic sequential, electronically controlled, longitudinal gearbox, quick-shift Limited-slip differential|
|Gears||Seven forward and one reverse|
|Fuel||Shell V-Power ULG 66L/2|