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Ferrari unveils new F1 car

FERRARI unveiled its 2009 Formula One race car yesterday in Maranello, Italy, getting a jump on its rivals in the hope it can reclaim the driver's title that Felipe Massa lost to Lewis Hamilton in the final race of last season.

The car ?? named the F60 for Ferrari's 60th year in F1 ?? was tested for the first time yesterday by Massa on the Mugello track. Usually the team debuts its new cars on its home track in Fiorano, but snowy conditions forced a change this year.

Massa lost the 2008 championship by one point to Hamilton, although Ferrari did win its second consecutive constructor's championship ?? and eighth in the past 10 years.

The F60 is Ferrari's 55th F1 car since joining the sport in 1950.

In line with new rules agreed on by the teams to enable more passing, some of the biggest modifications to the car are in aerodynamics.

The front wings are wider than before, while the rear wings are higher and narrower.

Massa said he was "a little surprised" by the size of the new car.

"I expected it to be really big, with the huge (front) wings like they were 10 years ago, but it's small, a little like a Formula 3 car," he said.

The car also features a kinetic energy recovery, or KERS, system ?? which allows a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions without affecting performance ?? and the transmission was redesigned to take advantage of the new aerodynamics.

Ferrari will hold its annual winter retreat in Madonna Di Campiglio later this week. The first official tests of the new car are slated next week in Portimao, Portugal.


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