New Ferrari as slow as it is ugly? UPDATE #3
(GMM) Ferrari's worrying start to the 2012 pre-season got a boost on Friday when Fernando Alonso topped the times in the famous team's new car.
|Was Alonso's time a fluke? Mika Salo says car has problems in every corner|
Earlier, when Red Bull's Dietrich Mateschitz was in the paddock, he wondered to Blick newspaper: "What's up with Ferrari?"
Former Ferrari driver Mika Salo answered: "They're having problems at every corner."
But although not as quick as the impressive Lotus earlier this week, Spaniard Alonso was faster than all comers on the last of the four-day session at Jerez, including Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel who had technical problems.
Typically, Alonso was giving nothing away.
"This time is worth nothing as is the one I set yesterday and those of the previous days," he said.
He was also not getting excited about Lotus' potential title challenge.
"I don't know as even for them it's a bit early and I would rather just say I am very happy to see Kimi (Raikkonen) back.
"He's a great driver and a great person," said Alonso.02/10/12 Technical director Pat Fry echoed Felipe Massa's admission that there was 'room for improvement', with the new Ferrari and pointed the finger of blame at the Scuderia's troublesome wind tunnel.
"There's reasonable correlation," he explained to the BBC, "but I certainly wouldn't say it was perfect. There is still room for improvement. I don't think I could ever sit here and say it's perfect. We have found some more issues since we have been here."
Fry insisted that the team's decision to include pull-rod suspension at the front of the car as well as the rear was not a factor in its problems, despite the need to rethink the entire machine giving it more work to do in the limited amount of pre-season testing available.
"The basic platform is okay," Fry maintained, "We are looking at the various characteristics of some of the bits we have to test. We can play around with the three corner characteristics, so we can do different things at corner entry, mid-corner to exit, and it is really trying to find the right balance of those things.
"On each run, we are trying almost a different configuration. There is a lot of analysis here and then back at the factory. We are using the simulation and the simulator to make sure everything ties in, so we can put the right package together.
"With only twelve days of testing before the first race, we have to make the most of all the time we have got. For that reason, we are not concentrating on taking the fuel out and trying to set a lap time." 02/09/12
Ferrari have admitted they are far from happy with the overall performance of their car after three days of pre-season testing in Jerez.
|Look for Stefano Domenicali to get the axe from Ferrari if the new car is another lemon|
|Ferrari went with a pull-rod front suspension. Look at the flat angle of the pull rods. Mistake No.1 - poor suspension geometry. Rest assured if Adrian Newey's cars use push-rods at the front, that is the proper design|
The Italian marque is one of the only teams yet to dip under the 1:20.00 mark at the Spanish circuit.
Fernando Alonso had his first session in the car on Thursday and posted a best lap of 1:20.412, faring little better than team-mate Fernando Alonso.
And with the season opener in Melbourne on March 18 already looming large, technical director Pat Fry admitted the team have their work cut out.
He said: "I am not happy with where we are at the moment. There is a lot of room for us to improve. Reliability-wise it is good. Performance-wise I think we are okay.
"But we can play around with the performance and improve the car in some corners, and some particular parts of the corner. But I would not say I am happy yet until we get the whole thing working.
"We have a one-week break coming up, but then it is two solid weeks in Barcelona and then you are packing the freight for Melbourne. So there is a lot of work for everyone to do. It is the same for every team up the pit lane." Sky Sports 02/09/12 Felipe Massa declared his new Ferrari "very ugly" and suggested its performance is also far from a thing of beauty just yet too.
The latest car out of Maranello has been derided as one of the ugliest the marque has ever built in its illustrious history.
Even those within the team have struggled to disagree, however, its design will be forgiven by Ferrari fans as long as it proves successful on the track.
But after the opening two days of pre-season testing at Jerez this week, there are rumors Ferrari are already off the pace of their rivals.
Massa's body language, hunched shoulders as he spoke to the media, further seemed to suggest all is not well, and the team have some way to go over the next few weeks before the season-opening race in Australia on March 18.
"It is a brand new car, not a car we have had over the last few years, a car that needs a lot more work, and a lot more things to try on it as well," said Massa.
After completing 95 laps on Wednesday and finishing seventh quickest, 1.3secs behind the best of the 2012 cars in Red Bull Racing's Mark Webber, Massa added: "I did so many laps, trying different things on the car.
"It was a program to understand every single point of the car, with the aerodynamics, suspension, even in the set-up on the chassis as well.
"There were so many things which has normally not been the case in the past, not even on the first day.
"It was a day where we had to concentrate so much on the little stuff, the little things that we need to understand, where we need to collect a lot of data.
"I am sure it will be like that tomorrow (when Fernando Alonso is in the car) and at the next test."
Unlike the positive vibes aired by the likes of Webber, Jenson Button and Kimi Raikkonen over the past two days, Massa conceded to 'unwelcome surprises' when asked.
"You always get them with a new car," added Massa.
"Sometimes you don't see the result you expect, and with some other parts as well you have a different direction.
"It is just the beginning of a big job to have a consistent and competitive car." Sporting Life