The Ferrari 248 F1
By: Jeremy McMullen
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By: Jeremy McMullen
| In 2005 the prancing horse pulled up lame. Were it not for Michelin's embarrassment and subsequent withdraw of the teams they supplied with tires, Ferrari may not have even scored a single victory. The once dominant Michael Schumacher seemed to have to do all he could to even place. At the beginning of the 2006 season the Ferrari 248 F1 looked like a young thoroughbred; there were bursts of speed and some flickers of former glory. By the middle-to-late part of the season not only did the prancing horse come of age, it may very well have been the most dominant car on the track.
The 2006 chassis carried on many of the traditions of Ferrari styling that started back in 2001. And while the 248 F1 would undergo many refinements throughout the season it still bore many similarities to its predecessors. Most obvious of those carry-over designs was the styling of the nose. The wide nose and slope seemed almost unchanged from the 2005 design but a closer look revealed many major refinements to those familiar Ferrari lines. Of course, one of the more obvious changes occurred in the cockpit rather than to the outside of the car. Rubens Barrichello departed Ferrari to drive for BAR Honda. So to drive the second car Ferrari hired Brazilian Felipe Massa to be Michael Schumacher's teammate.
At the time of the launch, the biggest concern in design centered around the V-8 fitted under the hood instead of the V-10 that normally had to be compensated for. At the time of the launch the 248 also carried the extra box wing attached to the underside of the front wing directly under the nose just like it did during the 2005 season. While the overall look seemed similar there were quite a few other drastic (in Formula One terms) changes. The nose sat a little higher. And while the width of the nose seemed about the same as the F2005, the nose was thinner giving the 248 F1 a sharper beak. The front wing had minor changes to it. But from the wheels back there were some wholesale changes.
Most noticeable on the 248 was the location of the rear-view mirrors; located out wide on the sidepod. This could very easily distract from the many changes to the sidepod itself. Much more bulb-like, similar to the Renault styling, this drastically effected the contours of the radiator inlets to help improve airflow around the car. The sidepods also were redesigned with a more dramatic 'coke bottle' shape.