The Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro team launched their 2004 challenger today with the aim of
retaining the title for the sixth consecutive year. President Luca Montezemolo acknowledged though that the 2004
season will be a tough one and said "Some want to start winning and
some want to continue winning. With the exception of General Motors and
the Audi-Volkswagen Group, all of the biggest automobile manufacturers
are involved in F1.
They are competitors we respect, that we have beaten and who
we hope to continue beating, though we know it will be very tough.
We know what it means to be at Ferrari, with the eyes of the world trained
upon us. It will certainly be a challenging year, a very difficult one. I hope
2004 is as close as last season, but that we come out on top again in the end.
Everyone needs to be focused from the off; last year we didn't make the most
of our early opportunities. The task this year is to start well. We are aware
that our competition will be tough and that in sport, as in life, for good or
bad, the wheels keep on turning. We are already ready to win in 2005 if, in
2004, we lose out. This, though, is something I don't even want to
General Director of the Gestione Sportiva Jean Todt said "Itís like
starting from zero all over again, as if we have forgotten the five
consecutive Constructorsí titles we have won since 1999 - a record in
automobile history - and the four consecutive Driversí championships
collected since 2000 by Michael Schumacher, allowing him to become the most
successful driver in F1 history. This says everything about our motivation.
This year we will have eighteen Grands Prix including the two new ones
(Bahrain and China) and the return of Spa. The competition will be tough
because they canít put up with Ferrari always being ahead of the pack any
longer. We have a strong squad, a winning one.
Technical Director Ross Brawn said "Our analysis of the 2003
season has highlighted the areas where we were strong and those where we were
weak. Certainly, we did not react aggressively enough to the opportunities
presented by the 2003 regulation changes and for 2004, we have worked to
ensure that we will not make the same mistake.
One of the key elements to our eventual success in 2003 was our Technical
Partnerships. We had a tremendous response and support from all of our
partners without exception. Perhaps the most crucial partnership is with
What must be understood is that during a tyre war of the intensity and level
we have experienced in the last few seasons, no tyre company can be totally
We will succeed or fail on the strength of our tyres. This does not mean that
we expect Bridgestone to shoulder that responsibility alone. We are not going
to step back and say 'it is up to you Bridgestone'. No, we have built a strong
technical and human partnership and both partners must share the
responsibility of producing the most competitive tyres. We will succeed
together and we will fail together. And if we fail, then we will need to work
harder and work smarter.
2003 was an extremely challenging year and many difficult questions were asked
of Ferrari. We faced these challenges and answered these questions with the
spirit of which we are all proud. We cannot guarantee to win, but we can
guarantee to always try our best."
Head of Engine Department Paolo Martinelli said "The new regulations for 2004
demand that a driver use just one engine for the entire race weekend, which
means that the life of an engine must be substantially increased. Furthermore
great attention must be paid to its reliability, especially in the second half
of its 'working life' which will coincide with Sunday's race. To use an
analogy, one could say that our not inconsiderable objective is to have an
engine which runs well and strongly from its 'Forties to its Eighties.
The majority of engine components have been revised or designed from scratch:
the engine can be adapted, or in technical-speak, be 'mapped' to suit the
requirements of the championship (by this I am thinking of the various circuit
types and the different ambient temperatures which can be encountered.)
We will not disclose a horsepower figure, but, at the risk of repeating
myself, rest assured that once again this year all the Ferrari engine
specialists have worked with diligence and determination in order to produce
'enough' power, delivered in a useable and reliable fashion in order to reach
our objectives in the 2004 F1 championship."
Design Chief Rory Byrne said "Although the fundamental design
philosophy of the F2004 is the same as its predecessors, in terms of
optimising aerodynamic efficiency, lowering of centre of gravity height and
maximising performance available from the Bridgestone tyres and 053 engine,
every area of the car has been revised in order to make a further step forward
on performance, so almost every component has been redesigned. In addition all
the systems have been reviewed to maximise performance and service ability
with the new race week-end timetable and procedures. To summarise, there have
been less fundamental but more detailed changes made.
To produce this all new car with most of the components redesigned has
required a tremendous effort from all at Gestione Sportiva and I would like to
thank everyone for their contribution in producing the F2004."
Michael Schumacher said "I know that people were expecting the new
car to look different, but what matters is the result on the stopwatch. It
does look similar to last yearís car, which if I remember correctly was
quite good and won both championships! Now we must wait and see how the winter
testing goes, when we will have a better indication of its potential.
The next season is always your toughest, but I am as motivated as ever, for
the simple reason that I love to race."
Rubens Barrichello said "I can be optimistic about this coming year.
Of course it will be tough, but I would like to start this year the way I
finished the last one.
I think I have always been a challenge for Michael and this year, the
championship should be wide open and I will give it my best shot. As a driver
you must always believe you can do it. After 2003, I now feel much more like a
The Jaguar Racing team launched their 2004 challenger today with the aim of
making an incremental improvement on their results from the 2003 season.
The approach used for the R5 was to refine and evolve last year's R4
rather than take risks. Managing Director David Pitchforth said "The Jaguar R5 is
the first car that we have been able to design completely from scratch
with our new management structure in place.
With our new philosophy we are building on what we learnt from
This car has been started significantly earlier than in the past and is an
iteration of a car that we already understand pretty well and a car that had
many strengths. I would never say that we got to grips with every problem on
last year's but one of the things we have resisted doing on R5 is changing
things simply because we didn't understand them.
Even if we carry over some of the problems that R4 had, it is better to run
something whose quirks you believe you can fix than take a gamble on something
Director of Engineering Ian Pocock said "My key objective is to be
able to demonstrate that the team is still improving. Our stakeholders and
technical partners are demanding that we keep moving forward and that is only
On the track I want our drivers to see that we are constantly making steady
progress. I would really like to be closing the gap to teams like Renault. I'm
not expecting to be able to beat them at every race but we have to take the
fight to them from the start of the season."
Head of Aerodynamics Ben Agathangelou said "We have learnt so much
from last year's R4 by working in a low-risk, conventional fashion and now
that we have stability within every department of the team it has given us a
chance to push really hard to make the new R5 an improvement.
It has been an education for me because it's the first time we have had a car
that we trust and understand pretty well. That has meant that we could refine
and evolve it rather than take a few risks, which is what we had to do in the
Head of Vehicle Performance Mark Gillan said "Last year we had to
ensure that people respected Jaguar again and I think we did that. The
performance of the car was significantly better and we must build on that.
It's going to be difficult. Other teams have switched over to Michelin tyres
like us and there are plenty of well-funded outfits out there. If we come out
with sixth place in the championship and the knowledge that we have done our
best, I'd be delighted."
Technical Director (Cosworth) Nick Hayes said "The CR6-V10 engine is
a development of last year's engine. So it remains a 90-degree V10, but we
have new longer-life requirements in 2004 thanks to the rule that means we can
only use one engine over a whole Grand Prix weekend. Previously an engine
would last for 450-500km but now we expect engines to have to survive for
around 800km so we've been doing a lot of work on the CR6 to extract the best
performance but at the right life.
A lot of the components in a 2003 engine wouldn't last for much more than a
race, let alone a whole weekend, so much of our recent work was seeing how we
can extend the lifespan without hurting performance. It will certainly be a
challenging season for all engines on the grid!."
Mark Webber said "We have to work on our race performances - they
have been a weaker area for us. In qualifying we did pretty well (last season)
and I really enjoyed that part of it but you have to take that on to the race
if you want to score good points and that is going to be as difficult as ever.
The teams we are are likely to be competing against - BAR, Toyota and Sauber -
are going to be very strong in 2004, so we have to show them some respect and
accept that they will be trying to do just as good a job as us.
We have to score more points earlier in the season. The rule allowing just one
engine means that people may struggle for reliability in the first few races
and we have to be ready to capitalise when those opportunities come along. A
good start will also give us momentum throughout the year, which we will need
if we are to keep moving forward."
Christian Klien said "I could not have asked for a better opportunity
to the start off my F1 challenge. I have a very steep learning curve ahead of
me but the support within the team is terrific and in Mark, I have not only a
very quick team-mate but also someone who is a great team player.
I cannot wait to get into the new car and begin what will be a very intense
few weeks of testing. With only six weeks until the season's opening race, the
workload will be very heavy but this is what I have always dreamed of doing.
There is a big difference between everything in Formula One and where I came
from in Formula Three. It is, however, what I expected and what I now have to
fully prepare for. "
17 January: The
Panasonic Toyota Racing team
launched their 2004 challenger today with the aim of making their
biggest step forward in 2004 and scoring their first ever podium
position. The team retains their driver line-up from last season with
Cristiano da Matta and Olivier Panis but they have significantly
strengthened their technical team with the addition of Mike Gascoyne -
who designed the 2003 Renault - as their Technical Director for the
Team Principal Tsutomu Tomita said "In order to
make our technical areas more efficient, we have appointed Luca Marmorini and
Mike Gascoyne as Technical Director in the engine and chassis departments
respectively. Everyone in the team is fully committed to rapid, continuous
improvement and teamwork and it is my firm belief that this will allow
Panasonic Toyota Racing to make its biggest step forward in 2004. I want to
see us achieve improved race results this season and, if conditions are
favourable, score our first ever podium position."
Technical Director (Engine) Luca Marmorini said "With the new rules,
we have had to look at doubling the engine's life expectancy from 400km to
around 800km. Our guiding principles when designing the RVX-04 have been to
increase the durability, whilst simultaneously maintaining the driveability
and the performance from 2003. I honestly do not think that there will be such
a drop in horsepower with the new engines, but we have had to work a lot on
the lifing. The RVX-04 was fired up on the dyno in October and was run for the
first time at a test on 25 November in the TF103B interim car. We will
continue to work on this before we go to Melbourne, but I am confident that we
are up to this new challenge."
Technical Director (Chassis) Mike Gascoyne said "The entire design
team has done a very good job on the TF104. It appears to be a solid car, but
we will have to wait for testing to see precisely how good it is. 90% of
chassis performance is in the car's aerodynamics, and that has been the
priority on the TF104. We now need to look at ensuring short-term consistency
to get the best from the car, the drivers and the team in 2004, whilst
concurrently adopting a longer-term approach to get Toyota to the front of the
grid in the future."
Chief Designer Gustav Brunner said "We have adopted similar
principles for the TF104 race car to the ones we followed when producing the
TF103. Using Toyota's philosophy of continuous improvement, the fundamental
concept was again that of evolution not a revolution. The TF103 and TF104 may
appear visually similar, but we have looked at every single part of the car,
studied it, redesigned it and improved it. There is no carry over from last
year's car, but we have worked on every single part to make it lighter,
stiffer, more reliable and with better overall performance.
Cristiano da Matta said "My first season in F1 was a lot of hard
work but highly enjoyable. I was hindered by having to learn most of the
circuits for the first time, but along with the team, I think I showed my
potential. This year will be a different story and I will be on a level
playing field to the other drivers, so we should aim for consistency in our
performance and to make real progress to the top teams in 2004."
Olivier Panis said "On occasions in 2003, we showed what Toyota is
capable of. Our race result in Hockenheim and our top three qualifying
performances in Indianapolis and Suzuka proved that we could do the job. In
2004, we have to use these achievements as a springboard, to focus on
reliability and get the results we deserve. That means plenty of points and a
constant progression during the year."