Ferrari will call its 2013 car F138.
Until now, insiders have referred to the famous Italian team’s next contender as ’664′ — its working project title.
But following last year’s car F2012, there has been speculation Ferrari would not simply call its successor F2013 — perhaps because Fernando Alonso failed to win the title with the conventionally numbered ’12′, and because of the prominence of the unlucky number 13.
Ferrari, however, explained on Wednesday that the 2013 car is called F138 in deference to the year (’13) and the number of cylinders in the engine (8).
Indeed, 2013 is the final year of F1′s long-standing normally aspirated V8 rules, ahead of the sweeping change to turbo V6s for 2014 and beyond.
Ferrari confirmed that the ’8′ in the 2013 car’s title is ‘partly to mark the fact that this will be the last year that the V8 engine configuration will be used’ in F1.
F138 will be launched at Maranello on Friday, February 1.
Before that, McLaren’s MP4-28 will be unveiled at Woking on Thursday, preceding a flurry of launch activity.
On the same day as Ferrari’s launch, Force India’s VJM06 will be revealed at Silverstone, before Sauber’s C32 is unveiled at Hinwil on Saturday.
The next day, Red Bull’s RB9 will emerge at Milton Keynes, while over at Jerez – ahead of the week’s debut test action – Mercedes will launch the W04.
Then, as the engines begin to fire at Jerez on Tuesday, Caterham will launch the CT03. Williams’ new FW36 will not be seen until the second test, at Barcelona, while Marussia has not said when its 2013 car will be revealed.