Ferrari: 2012 car will be aggressive

By on Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Ferrari's chief designer Nikolas Tombazis says that an aggressive approach towards the Scuderia's 2012 challenger should set them in good stead for the start of next season. Ferrari's F150* Italia was slow out of the box with many commenting on it's similarity to their 2010 challenger.

"I hope the results will speak for themselves when we launch the car and more importantly, as we tackle the first few races on the calendar," Tombazis said on Ferrari's website.

"A more aggressive approach has come about as the result of the analysis we carried out of the defeats we suffered over the past few years.

"We realised we had been a bit too conservative and had closed our minds to some strands of development. So for next year's car, we have sanctioned a much more aggressive approach on the aero front, which has required a much closer working relationship with those developing the structure of the car.

"It might make it harder when considering other aspects of the car, but it allows more room for aerodynamic development.

"The other element of the new approach is in how we make use of the wind tunnel: it involves not just developing and optimising what we have, but also introducing to every wind tunnel session some new concepts, which sometimes might not work, but sometimes can produce interesting results"

"We are currently at the stage of finalising the main components, the larger parts with a requirement for the longest production time. That means the chassis, the general layout of the car, the suspension and gearbox.

"Some of these components are now at the production stage, while others are at the final part of the design process. We are right in the middle of development for the aerodynamic elements and it's fair to say we are now totally concentrated on the new car."

Having experienced a difficult season - in which the team has won just once, at Silverstone in July, Tombazis says that Ferrari's efforts are firmly fixed on both titles in 2012.

"Having accepted for a while now that this year's championship titles are beyond our grasp, our main effort is aimed at next year. The technical rules have not changed that much, with general stability prevailing, apart from the area involving the exhaust system. Therefore there are areas on the 150º Italia that are relevant for next year. That means in the remaining races, we will be experimenting with this in mind.

"For example, we could try a new front wing that represents a different approach in terms of how it works. We can therefore try and learn as much as possible right away. Clearly, we also hope it will be beneficial for this year's car too in the races that are left.

"Even on the exhaust side there are lessons to be learned from what we have done so far, because any in depth study also brings benefits. Our rivals were ahead of us in developing this area and that gave them a big advantage. The lessons we have learned from this and other similar situations in the past, always have a benefit for us in the end."

"I think that visually, the new car is fairly different to its predecessor but if it has a wow factor, as our team principal Stefano Domenicali thought, when he first saw the model, then I hope the wow factor will also be evident from the results.

"We have set ourselves ambitious targets, which we intend to maintain and so, on this front, I am quite optimistic."

Ferrari last won the drivers championship in 2007, courtesy of a last gasp effort from Kimi Raikkonen, whilst their most recent Constructors success was in 2008. Ferrari has finished 4th and 3rd for the last two seasons, with the team set to end up third again in 2011.


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