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Oh Dear…Have Ferrari Got it Wrong Again?

by on February 20, 2012

There seems to be a growing concern from the “Red Army” of  “Ferrari Tifosi” that the legendary outfit may have again got it wrong.  There seemed to have been a generall consensus from both drivers, Pat Fry and others, that there still remains much work to do on the F2012.

This is what we know PART1:

  • Ferrari have not won a drivers championship since 2007 and narrowly missed out in 2008.
  • 2009 was an utter disaster
  • 2010 Alonso came close but was unable to seal the deal, due (arguably) to  a bad pit wall call to shadow rival drivers in pit strategy.
  • Half of 2011 was binned as the team decided to throw it’s resources towards the 2012 challenger.

This is what we know PART2:

  • The wraps came off the F2012 with an online presentation, which showed many new, radical and different ideas.  As many have said, no one can possibly blame Ferrari for being too conservative this time around.
  • The F2012 is the only car we know so far to feature a pull rod front suspension
  • The rear of the car around the gearbox is tighter than we have seen in the past and the exhaust layout seems to be right on the limit of what is legal.
  • The car did also fail its first crash-test (irrelevant perhaps, but shows the extent to which Ferrari are pushing the envelope)
  • In short, we have been told that this challenger is a complete rework and thus, practically a completely new car.

This is what we know PART3:

  • One of the areas Ferrari struggled last season was that of being able to put heat in the tires quickly and efficiently.  According to Alonso, the new Ferrari may have resolved that issue to some extent this year.
  • Another area of concern was the that of the blown diffuser which has been banned this season.  The team was unable to make use of this technology to the same extent that perhaps RedBull and McLaren were.  This resulted in obvious lack of grip and ultimately pace. The only race won by Ferrari in 2011 was in fact the one race that restricted the blowing of exhaust (Silverstone – British GP).
  • The first round of tests in Jerez this pre-season showed us all a few things.  The apparent lack of pace of the F2012, the discontent and concern on the face of Massa and very obvious lack of mileage run.
  • Although Alonso did finish one of the days at the top of the time sheets, he did so running on a set of soft Pirelli compound tyres where others set similar times on Mediums.
  • Pat Fry also made it public that the team had no intentions of looking at the stopwatch, and oddly, a similar statement was made again before the beginning of this week’s tests in Barcelona.

Now for the unknown.  We don’t know where any of the top teams really sit in terms of pace.  For all we know, Lotus or Mercedes could be the dark horses  this season while the usual suspects at the top could be looking up instead of back over their shoulders.  I highly doubt RedBull, McLaren and Ferrari won’t be right up there though.

Here’s the interesting bit.  It is totally understood if not expected for all the top teams to be guarding their true pace.  What if Ferrari don’t really have it as wrong as some may think?  Could it be a surprise season of Ferrari dominance? 

Mercedes have been very secretive over the W03 even so far as running a private test with it and choosing to run the W02 in Jerez. 

McLaren have been quietly confident despite running some rather unimpressive times in Jerez.  Easily the presttiest car on the grid thus far, with a few elements of surprise hidden beneath its carbon fibre cloak, could this season be the battle of the Brits?

Finally, in true Newey style, it seems that aero-genius has a slight grin as he sits back and news of a “clever” solution breaks news.  Apparently, RedBull are working on a way to claw back the lost downforce due to the banning of blowing exhaust gasses.  Could this be a third season of the “Running Of The Bulls”?

 

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From → Formula One

One Comment
  1. Hope the Mercedes W03 is a winner. Team simply must be competitive. And if it’s Schumacher’s last season, we must see him on a podium. f1

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