Ferrari flat out on new car (PVM) Ferrari have admitted that they are now working flat out on development for their 2012 car, with design resources at Maranello fully committed to the project and the forthcoming race weekends in Abu Dhabi and Brazil dedicated to testing elements for the new car.
Ferrari’s technical director Pat Fry revealed, “The design office is now concentrating solely on next year’s car and that work is at a reasonably advanced stage in terms of mechanical components and the car’s bodywork.”
The Englishman added, “As for what we are doing at these last two races, we will continue to work on developing new concepts for next year’s car. Some of the work takes as its starting point the very final development of this year’s car and some of it comes from the new design. This is valuable in terms of getting an understanding of different work methodologies and also gives us an early understanding, particularly in terms of the car’s aerodynamics and how to set up the car.”
One of the major talking points during the Indian Grand Prix weekend was the team’s new front wing which was shown to vibrate intensely at high speeds, flicking sparks as it scraped the track surface, particularly on Felipe Massa’s car.
Fry explained, “I think the biggest addition we’ve made in performance terms in recent races is the new front wing which we first tried in Korea. We then ran it again on both cars in India. It is a very interesting development for us, as it does change the characteristics of the car and getting to understand how to get the most out of it is certainly an interesting challenge and in the short term it has helped our performance.”
Perhaps alluding to Massa’s wing, Fry said, “We had some quality issue on one of the wings used in India but this solution will be in Abu Dhabi again, although after watching its behaviour at the last race, much work has been done to modify certain aspects of it before both drivers will try it this coming weekend.”
Regarding Abu Dhabi, the technical director pointed out, “Abu Dhabi is similar to the last three tracks we have visited, even if there are fewer high speed corners. As always, it is still a case of finding the right balance on the car. Last year, as we found to our cost, overtaking was very difficult at this circuit, however we have seen a big change this year thanks to several factors including the DRS.”
“It is hard to say exactly how straightforward it will be. We will keep on pushing as hard as we can. In terms of what we can expect for this weekend, it will be similar to the last few races, which means that if we put everything together perfectly, as we did in India with Fernando [Alonso] we should have a reasonable chance of getting onto the podium,” concluded Fry.
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