Ferrari F1 cars. Things of almost mystic beauty. Usually...
Here's the new one, Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa's 2012 contender, launched just now. And what can we say? Possibly that it's best viewed from above?
Actually the plan photograph does show it to be an incredibly tidy design with an extremely narrow rear thanks to magical gearbox shrinking technology. The sidepods are also significantly abbreviated with some cute little aero tricks at the leading edge.
Unlike the McLaren, Ferrari is saying the F2012 is an evolution of last year's not-ever-to-be-called-the-F150. Like the McLaren, it massively borrows from the Red Bull book of making quick F1 cars quicker by going one step further in switching its rear suspension concept from ‘push-rod' to ‘pull-rod', all in the name, once again, of making the car clean in front of the rear wing.
Then there's the nose. We hardly need to say it. The explanation for McLaren avoiding the blight of the platypus snout is apparently that the boffins at Woking have always followed a lower nose aero-concept, so making the tub work with this year's new 7cm lower nose was less of a challenge.
The F2012 won't be getting any shakedown miles any time soon. Fiorano is under a ton of snow. Next week, however, is the first official F1 test of the season. More significantly, Monday is the launch of the Red Bull RB8. It's going to be interesting to see if Adrian Newey goes ugly, too. We somehow doubt it.