When Ferrari unveiled the much-anticipated F138 at its Maranello base, the new livery and the nose design immediately drew the eye.
But it is towards the rear of the car and in the details that there is the greatest evidence of new thinking, particularly in terms of aerodynamics.
Last year Ferrari was in the fight for the drivers' championship up until the last race, largely due to opportunism, consistency and reliability.
Yet although much derided, the F2012 was in fact close to the pace for most of the year, often racing better than it qualified.
A thin 500g fairing covers the nose
In design terms the 2012 car was on a tangent, not followed by other teams. Early season updates helped bring it closer to Red Bull and McLaren, but the persistent problem was aero developments not delivering the performance expected. This was traced to problems with correlation in Ferrari's windtunnel and procedures not picking up on these issues.
To prevent these problems occurring on the F138, Ferrari developed the car's aerodynamics in Toyota's ex-Formula 1 windtunnel in Germany.
The new nose is obvious. With the chassis and structural nose in the same position, the angular step has now been hidden by a modesty panel. This thin fairing is bonded over the step and cleans up the looks and airflow. The panel adds a tiny aero benefit and weighs around 200g; the net effect is almost neutral in performance terms.
Beneath the nose the pylons that mount the front wing are again elongated, with extra-long upper sections. These upper sections act like turning vanes, directing airflow along the side of the car to the sidepods. They are allowed to be longer as they are above the cross section restrictions that apply to the lower section of wing pylon.
Elongated front wing mounts act as turning vanes
As is typical for a launch car the front wing is an older design and will be updated before Melbourne.
Externally the monocoque has changed little. In 2012 the car already had the highest possible raised section, so there is little to gain under the current regulations in this area.
Internally the 'tub' has been reworked, largely for access to the workings of the front pullrod suspension.
Last year Ferrari struggled with access to the lower mounted springs and dampers, especially when it switched to new turning vanes mounted directly over the access panels, necessitating the removal of the vanes for maintenance. These curved under-nose turning vanes are on the car again, so we can expect Ferrari to have resolved this issue.
The middle section of the car is the least changed. The rollhoop with its second inlet for oil cooling is retained, as are the sidepod fronts.
Ferrari has improved access to the front pullrod suspension
The bigger change is at the rear of the sidepods. The McLaren-style semi coanda exhaust outlet is retained, but is much tidier and streamlined.
The area around the exhaust bulge in the sidepods is also much slimmer and blended into the gearbox area in a smoother manner too.
Within the sidepods, the cooling package is largely retained. The radiators vent their heat through an outlet behind the exhaust outlet, rather than the large opening over the gearbox as favoured by most teams. This keeps the upper rear bodywork slimmer, which creates less of a blockage to the rear wing.
This reworking of the rear end shows off Ferrari's best kept secret from last year: its low-line gearbox, albeit not as low as Williams's design.
Ferrari has unveiled its most complex rear end yet
The gearbox has been revised for a different rear suspension mounting, with the lower wishbone raised up Red Bull style to clear the diffuser and enclose the driveshaft.
Beneath the oversized wishbone, Ferrari has also copied Red Bull by adding turning vanes on top of the diffuser. These expand the airflow exiting behind the car for more downforce.
Achieving a similar goal are the new rear wing endplates, again with hanging vanes from their bottoms edge, but now also featuring vanes on their vertical trailing edge. All these vanes aid the expansion of the airflow from within the wing, lowering air pressure and creating more downforce.
Details around the rear end abound. The DRS mechanism is now unfeasibly small inside a tiny teardrop shaped pod, while the rear brake duct fins gain tiny louvres for managing airflow.
With engine specifications frozen, only fuel and oil development can bring more power
This will be the last year for the V8 engine and its eight-cylinder layout is given credit in the new naming convention for the F138. With no new rules or a let up in the specification freeze, development is purely focused on fuels and lubricants.
Complementing the engine is the compact KERS, as Ferrari has reduced the size and weight of the unit. Ferrari is unique in packaging the entire KERS in one module, the motor/generator, electronics and batteries are all in one casing mounted under the fuel tank.
In summary the F138 is far more conventional than the 2012 car and in its launch form at least, far more sophisticated in some of its aero treatments.
Already the team has enjoyed good tyre usage and reliability, so Ferrari's fortunes for 2013 will largely revolve around its ability to develop and deliver predictable aero parts.
This will become evident in the first tests, beginning at Jerez on Tuesday, as Ferrari should feel comfortable with the aero development completed so far.
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