Ferrari confirm Rory Byrne working on 2014 car

(L to R): Race winner Michael Schumacher (GER) Ferrari and Rory Byrne (RSA) Ferrari Chief Designer celebrate on the podium. Formula One World Championship, Rd4, San Marino Grand Prix, Race Day, Imola, Italy, 25 April 2004. DIGITAL IMAGE BEST IMAGE

Race winner Michael Schumacher celebrates with Rory Byrne after winning the 2004 San Marino GP

Ferrari are tapping the talents of Rory Byrne, the South African designer whose cars took Michael Schumacher to seven Formula One drivers’ titles with Benetton and Ferrari, to help with development of their 2014 car.

Rory Byrne at the 2012 Italian GP

Rory Byrne at the 2012 Italian GP

Byrne was spotted at the launch of the team’s 2013 car, the F138, at the Maranello factory this month, and Ferrari confirmed on Sunday that he was also involved – at a distance – in next year’s challenger.

A spokesman said the 69-year-old was working on the new Enzo road car project but also providing “operational support” on the 2014 F1 project.

An earlier report in German publication Auto, Motor und Sport had quoted Byrne as saying he was “working full steam” on the car with the F138 looking like “child’s play” in comparison to it.

With major rules changes and a new engine coming in next season, Ferrari have set up two separate design teams to work on this and next year’s cars.

Fabio Montecchi is the lead man for the 2014 design with Simone Resta working on the F138. Both report to Nicolas Tombazis.

The South African moved to Ferrari in 1997 and became part of a ‘dream team’ with Ross Brawn and Schumacher, and the German won 91 races in cars designed by Byrne.

He retired from full time design at the end of 2006, when Schumacher began a three-year break from the sport, but has since been involved as a consultant in various Ferrari projects. (Reuters)

  • Butterfly

    Why isn’t Ferrari promoting him to Chief Designer a.s.a.p. ? Nicholas Tombazis can’t design a proper car even if his life depended on it.

    I know Byrne is 69, but he’s healthy, looks in good shape, the mind obviously works and looks as ferocious as ever – clearly the man for the job.

    Maybe it’s what Ferrari want to do, but they have to take it one step at a time.

  • Forza Ferrari

    I really hope that Rory Byrne is doing a lot more than just providing “operational support” for the 2014 car design. His experience and know-how is absolutely invaluable. I’m sure that Ferrari is doing everything they possibly can to come out on top in 2014. And I wouldn’t underestimate Nicolas Tombazis either. I mean, yea sure he’s probably not as brilliant as Byrne, but Tombazis is also a good and very experienced designer, otherwise Ferrari wouldn’t keep him around, that’s for sure.

    Gooo Ferrari in 2013 & 2014!!!

  • Nemo

    Smart move by Ferrari. Covering off the evolution of 2013 car while getting a running start on 2014.

  • Butterfly

    There is such a difference between Jean Todt and Stefano Domenicali.

    When Todt hired RB as chief designer, he was tasked with creating next year’s car *and* improving that year’s car, which he did and it won races. In other words, the concept of giving up was unknown at the Scuderia back then.

    How many times has Domenicali given up the year to focus on the next? Let’s see:

    1. 2009 – Everybody fitted double-diffusers on their cars, but Domenicali considered that by the time they would start winning it would be too late. Apparently, race wins don’t count for Stefano, it’s the title or nothing. Raikkonen must have been pissed.

    2. 2010 – Alonso suffered towards the end because unofficially they were already working on 2011, which turned out to be a pig. I remember in Abu Dhabi his F10 was all over the place, yet they expected to win the title. Morons!

    3. 2011 – The F150 (that grand design that was suppose to be “ultra competitive”) was just awful, so they had to fucus on 2012, a complete re-design. We all know how that ended up.

    Surprisingly, they worked flat-out during 2012, a first for Stefano.

    Why is that guy still in charge of the red team? Him and that clumsy chief designer.

  • AlonsoFan

    I am just amazed evrytime Stefano becomes a two faced women when he wishes Christian Horner Birthday during a press conference,did Sebastian wish Alonso a good birthday in lame

  • Absolute F1 Fanatics on Facebook

    Adrian Newey is the most successful designer in F1’s history with nine (9) constructor’s titles.

    South African Rory Byrne was the most successful designer in F1 with 7 titles but was eclipsed by Newey in 2011 with their World Constructor’s title win at Red Bull.

    However Adrian Newey has never designed a car that took 6 consecutive constructors titles which Rory Byrne achieved at Ferrari between 1999 and 2004.

    Newey’s title-winning cars were:

    The Williams cars:
    1992- FW14B
    1993- FW15C
    1994- FW16
    1996- FW18
    1997- FW19

    The McLaren Car:
    1998- MP4/13

    The Red Bull Cars:
    2010- RB6
    2011- RB7
    2012- RB8

    Rory Byrne’s title-winning cars were:

    The Benetton car:
    1995- B195

    The Ferrari cars:
    1999- F399
    2000- F1-2000
    2001- F2001
    2002- F2002
    2003- F2003GA
    2004- F2004

    In the last 21 years Adrian Newey and Rory Byrne designed cars which dominated Formula One for 15 years. The successive years of 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009 were the exception.

    It seems Rory Byrne has some catching up to do in 2013 and beyond. Either way, they are the very best F1 Designers the sport has ever had. Forza F1!

  • Brian Wilson

    What a proud moment for Rory.
    I am certain that his input will bring Ferrari to the forefront once again.
    Best wishes from a fellow South African

  • Butterfly

    For sure, if his 2014 design is successful, he may well become Chief Designer once again. I reckon this is a test for him, and he knows it.

    Rory Byrne & Fernando Alonso :-)

    I guess he has faith in Fernando’s abilities, otherwise he wouldn’t want to do this again. He retired when Schumacher retired and now he wants back in. I guess he doesn’t think much of Felipe…