The Ferrari 248 F1 is a Formula One car, designed by Aldo Costa and Rory Byrne for the 2006 season.
The car was named after its V8 engine: 24 is the capacity in decilitres, and 8 the number of cylinders. The name broke the F200x system used from 2001 to 2005, and returned to a system similar to that used in the 1950s and 1960s (cf. Ferrari 312) but they did revert to the previous system the following year with the F2007. The 248 model was driven by race drivers Michael Schumacher and Felipe Massa. The 248 F1 was the first Ferrari since the F1-2000 not to wear the number one, denoting that the driver is world champion. The car also featured new sponsor decals such as Martini. This was also Vodafone's last year of sponsorship for the Scuderia as they announced that they would switch to McLaren Mercedes as title sponsor.
The car was an update of the previous year's F2005. Although the V8 engine is shorter than the V10 used in the F2005, the wheelbase is actually the same, reported to be 3,050 mm. The wheelbase was retained via a new longer gearbox casing. The 248 F1 is the last Ferrari Formula One race car to use the single keel technology.
Some notable features of the new model are the rear view mirrors, which are now mounted on the edge of the sidepods of the car rather than conventional position beside the cockpit.
At the start of the season the car featured a triple plane front wing. After the first three races, it was replaced by a twin plane wing, in order to generate more airflow to the underside and diffuser.
Revised rear bodywork was introduced for the French Grand Prix, with a more waisted lower body around the exhausts.
The engine has been reported to have had a power output of 730 bhp (544 kW; 740 PS) at the start of the 2006 season, but modifications throughout the year boosted the power to around 785 bhp (585 kW; 796 PS) by the season's end.
The 248 F1 was used by Ferrari in every race of the 2006 season, unlike in other recent seasons (2002, 2003 and 2005), in which the team had used the previous year's car at the start of the season, while developing a new car.
The car performed well in qualifying at the season opener, the Bahrain Grand Prix, with an all Ferrari front row. However the performance of the car was generally not as fast as the Renault R26 in the first half of the season. At the Malaysian Grand Prix, the car suffered significant technical problems - a piston problem meant that both drivers had to change their engines during the weekend, incurring qualifying penalties, and for the race the engine speed was limited to prevent a failure. This problem continued to affect the car for the Australian Grand Prix
An aerodynamic upgrade introduced for the San Marino Grand Prix brought the pace of the car to approximately level with the Renault. At the United States Grand Prix, in Indianapolis, Ferrari were dominant all weekend, resulting in the first Ferrari one-two finish since the same race 12 months beforehand. This seemed to represent a genuine turning point for the car's competitiveness. Modifications throughout the season continued to improved the car's performance, to the point where it was considered the fastest package of all for the remainder of the season - the car won 7 of the last 9 races of the season. Massa claimed his maiden win at the Turkish Grand Prix and later won his home race in Brazil. As a result of the car's improved form, Ferrari and Schumacher were able to close the gap to Renault and Fernando Alonso in their respective championships. However, Schumacher suffered an engine failure while leading the Japanese Grand Prix which effectively ended his title hopes and Ferrari eventually lost out on the Constructor's title by only 5 points to Renault.
Overall, the car gave Ferrari 9 race wins and 7 pole positions, and second-place finishes in both the Drivers' and Constructors' World Championships.
The 248 F1 was used in testing prior to the 2007 season, and was the first Ferrari Formula One car which new Ferrari driver Kimi Räikkönen drove, in a test on 23 January 2007 at the Vallelunga circuit.
(key) (results in bold indicate pole position; results in italics indicate fastest lap)