Ferrari Press releases:
07.01.1998: F 300 unveiled at Maranello
Maranello, 7th January - Ferrari's challenger for the 1998 Formula 1 World Championship the F300, was unveiled today in Maranello. The ceremony took place in a marquee next to the team's new wind tunnel which was also officially declared open at this event. Present were President Luca di Montezemolo, Sporting Director Jean Todt, Technical Director Ross Brawn, the car's designer Rory Byrne and Chief of the Engine Department Paolo Martinelli, along with the drivers, Michael Schumacher, Eddie Irvine and Luca Badoer. Also on hand was the wind tunnel's architect, Renzo Piano. "The 7th January is an important day for Ferrari, claimed Jean Todt. "We are presenting both the F300 and the wind tunnel. The car is completely new: longitudinal gearbox, engine and new chassis configuration in line with the change in regulations. These changes, instigated by the FIA in order to improve driver safety have always been supported by Ferrari. Our objective for this year is clear and at the same time difficult to achieve and that is to win. This is the first time we have been prepared to say that but it does not automatically signify that we will manage it. After four years we have finally managed to gather together all the elements here in Maranello. The team is united and very well organized. In Michael Schumacher we have the best driver in the world, while Eddie Irvine will certainly do even more and we have a new test driver in Luca Badoer. We no longer have any excuses. I also wish to thank our sponsors who through their technical and financial support contribute to the only team which builds the entire car and allows us to be competitive at the
highest level. We will soon start testing. Michael will drive at Fiorano on Friday. Next week we will be at Jerez, first with Schumacher and then with Irvine. In February we will test at Barcelona and Mugello with two cars." Ross Brawn underlined the importance of being able to design both the chassis and the engine alongside one another at Maranello. "This is a very positive aspect because it has made for a closer collaboration between chassis and engine engineers at the most critical time in the development of the project." Rory Byrne and Paolo Martinelli gave a brief run down of the principal characteristics of the car and the 047 Engine. "Naturally the aerodynamics were optimized to suit the new regulations," said the South African designer. "The front suspension and the steering are a completely new design and Enginecooling and weight distribution have also been revised." "The 047 engines totally new," explained Martinelli. "Compared with its predecessor, it has increased performance, while maintaining driveability and reliability. It is lower by 15 mm and the angle of the V is more open." Then it was the drivers' turn to say a few words. "I went on holiday to Scandinavia with my family, said Schumacher. "Now I feel very motivated. We have a great team and everything we need to win. We must keep our fingers crossed!" "I also think we can win," added Irvine. It will be difficult, but no one has worked as hard as us. I cannot wait for the first race to show what we can do." "I am very happy to be part of this team," said Scuderia Ferrari - Marlboro's new test driver , Luca Badoer. "Driving for Ferrari is a great opportunity for me. Being alongside two exceptional drivers like Schumacher and Irvine will be a chance to increase my experience." Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo brought proceedings to a close. "This is an important year for us. 1997, being our fiftieth anniversary was a big responsibility for everyone at Ferrari and we proved competitive, as we had wanted to be. We were only twenty minutes away from being competitive and taking the title," he added referring to the end of the final race of the season. "Now we want to win the title in 1998. We say that because we have everything in place to do it; the team, the Engineers and this car. The group is fundamental to our success and I am happy with what we have. Last year we were beaten by the best car, one in which any of seven drivers could have won the title. Now I want our cars to be 100 percent competitive and I thank everyone from Todt to the Engineers for the work achieved. I also remember what Schumacher did for us in the most difficult moments. As for Irvine, I expect to see a few more overtaking moves like the one we witnessed in Suzuka. I also wish Badoer a lot of luck and thank Larini for his valuable contribution over the past few years." Montezemolo went on to speak about Ferrari's company achievements in 1997. "The accounts are very interesting and we set a new sales record. We celebrated our 50th anniversary and came up with a technical first in the form of the F1 - style gear change on the F 355, continuing a tradition of racing improving the breed. The wind tunnel has also made a strong impression of research and innovation." In conclusion, Montezemolo returned to the subject of the Formula 1 season. "We are aware of the enormous affection of our fans and we will do our best to give them the satisfaction they deserve. We want to win the world championship; rest assured we will do all in our power to succeed."
09.01.1998: First official run for F 300
Maranello, 9th January - Today, two days after its official launch, was the first day of testing for the F 300 at the Fiorano track. At 9.40 this morning, Michael Schumacher began the test session with the new car (chassis number 181.) Weather conditions were less than favourable with thick fog making the track very damp. The German driver did a total of 32 laps, seven of which were on '98 spec. tyres. His best time on slick tyres was 1m 00.044s. Testing finished at 16h00. "The car seems to handle well," said Schumacher. "It has good driveability and it is definitely a sound base on which to build. Now we must concentrate on its development and realize its potential while working on having a totally reliable package." The immediate testing schedule has been slightly modified since the one announced at the launch. From Monday, Schumacher will run at Fiorano all week with the F 300 while Eddie Irvine will carry out 1998 tyre tests at Jerez with a F 310 B.
16.07.1998: Ferrari tests long wheelbase car
Monza, 16th July Circuit: Autodromo di Monza, 5.800 km. Drivers: Michael Schumacher, driving F 300 chassis number 187 and 183; Eddie Irvine, driving F 300, chassis number 183. Weather: Air temp. 25 C, track 45-50 C. Sunny. Michael Schumacher joined the Scuderia Ferrari-Marlboro test team in Italy today. His work centred mainly on trying the new longer wheelbase version of the F 300. In the early afternoon, he drove both this and the standard car to make comparison tests, before spending the end of the day concentrating on tyre testing. He completed a total of 77 laps with a best time of 1m 24.815 (3rd fastest.) Eddie Irvine meanwhile concentrated on trying different types of tyre. He did 50 laps with a fastest time of 1m 25.663s. The Irish driver continues testing tomorrow morning.