Ferrari to start 2005 with old car

Ferrari will start the 2005 Formula 1 season with a modified version of this year's car. The world champion team has delayed the introduction of its new car, preferring to rely on the ultra-successful F2004, until it is has perfected its 2005 challenger

Ferrari to start 2005 with old car

The Italian team will use a modified F2004 chassis, adapted to next year's regulations that require engines to last two grand prix weekends and calls for a new aerodynamic package designed to slow the cars down.

"We could bring it out from the first race but we want to go deeper into research and design so it is almost perfect when it does appear," Ferrari's chief designer Rory Byrne told the Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport. "We expect its debut to be between the third and fifth races."

"The aim is to have the (new) car on track at the end of February."

Ferrari tested an early version of its 2005 aero-package in Barcelona last week and it is anticipated that this will form the basis of the car that will compete in Melbourne next year. "It will be an interim version of the 2004 car," confirmed Byrne, "on which we will try and incorporate a good part of the aerodynamics of the new car."

Ferrari's dominance in F1 continued through 2004, with Michael Schumacher collecting his seventh world title and the team its sixth successive contructors' crown. The F2004, mated to Bridgestone tyres, proved formidable, winning 15 of the 18 races last season. Byrne has warned the team's rivals that he expects the new car, developed by right-hand man Aldo Costa, to be yet another "step forward".

"But its success will depend on our rivals," he said. "It will be different to the F2004, but in an evolutionary sense. Some areas will be very different... the engine will be new, not interchangeable with the current one, as will the gearbox."

Byrne also reasserted his wish to ultimately hand over the reins of design responsibility to Costa. "I could stay involved in a different manner," he said. "But from 2007 I will certainly spend most of my time in Phuket, in Thailand."

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