FIORANO, Italy – Ferrari presented its 2008 Formula One car Sunday, highlighting a series of technical changes and the return of the No. 1 on the red model’s nose.
Kimi Raikkonen earned Ferrari its first driver’s championship last season since Michael Schumacher accomplished the feat five consecutive times from 2000-04. It was the squad’s first constructor’s title since 2004.
“The fact that I won the driver’s title last year gives me the certainty that I can try and do it this year too,” Raikkonen said at the presentation.
Ferrari is calling the car the F2008. It is the 54th car the Maranello outfit has built for F1.
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It features a new electronic system called SECU (Standard Electronic Control Unit) that is the same for all F1 teams this season.
Other new details include a revamped transmission, which must be used for four consecutive races, and more safety features, including lateral guards near the drivers’ helmets.
According to new rules for materials, the car is heavier than last year’s edition, weighing in at 1,333.78 pounds, including water, oil and the driver.
There is also a complete overhaul in aerodynamics, although Ferrari said more changes will be put in place before the first race in Australia in March.
Raikkonen said the cockpit is tighter.
“There are a lot of changes. Most of all the loss of traction control is gone, which will make it a little difficult to drive in the wet,” the Finnish driver told the ANSA news agency. “We’ll have to change our style of driving, but that happens with every new car.”
Raikkonen is scheduled to test the F2008 for the first time on Ferrari’s home track in Fiorano on Monday. The team then heads to Madonna Di Campiglio in the Italian Dolomites for the squad’s annual winter retreat.