Ferrari takes competition in Formula 1 very seriously, so it didn’t surprise me that next to the F12 Berlinetta they had on display for the 2013 NAIAS was an example of the 2012 Ferrari F1 racer that Fernando Alonso drove to 2nd place only 3 points behind champion Sebastian Vettel. Why not a surprise? Because, as we just showed in the previous post, Infiniti brought a championship car to Detroit and the competition between the two teams is fierce. The lettering on the wall behind the Ferrari F1 car touted the scuderia’s 16 constructors’ world championships – without mentioning that 2012 was not a championship year.
The Ferrari F1 car was only on display for the media preview, by the industry preview it was replaced by a FF road car. Getting to look at the Red Bull and Ferrari race cars, particularly the Ferrari sitting next to the beautiful F12 Berlinetta by Pininfarina, reinforces how F1 cars are brutal, not beautiful. In order to keep the car on the road, with maximum downforce in corners, while slicing through the air on the straights, plus all the little tricks like exhaust driven “blown diffusers”, contemporary Grand Prix cars need much more than just front and rear wings. Each of these cars has aerodynamically active structures from the front to the back of the car, and the front and rear wings themselves are complex, multi-element structures.