F ive for Chief Technology Officer Pat Fry the new Ferrari F2012 is a puzzle. At the moment there are still quite a few building blocks missing. 'We have to understand this car first,' admits the former McLaren engineer. The symptoms do not give the impression that a gross error is slowing down the Ferrari F2012. Rather a lot of small ones. And they are probably more on the mechanical than the aerodynamic side.
Fry indicated: 'We are very satisfied with the correlation between wind tunnel and track.' Then the dog cannot lie in aerodynamics. That would mean that Ferrari had built a bad car in the wind tunnel and knew from the data and simulations that there were problems before arriving in Jerez.
Ferrari boss with little patience
Maybe the car is really too new and too extreme. Above all, the tuning causes problems for the Ferrari engineers. Therefore you play through all conceivable constellations in order to find the right one at the end.
That is a bit reminiscent of the BMW F1.08 from 2008. At the time, the engineers also had completely new ideas. The drivers also sounded the alarm after the first test drive. The car was extremely difficult to drive and set up, the lap times suggested the worst. With a few changes to the chassis and small aerodynamic retouches, the moody racing car suddenly became an insider tip. Robert Kubica was on the front row in Melbourne.
Assumptions that the new front suspension was to blame are rejected by Fry. A tension strut technology does not have to be a mistake per se. The only problem is that the engineers haven't worked with pullrods on the front axle for 20 years.
If the car sways too much on the front axle, this can also have negative effects on the aerodynamics. The vortices of air that are produced at the front determine what happens at the rear. Because the tension strut is linked to the wheel carrier at the top instead of the bottom, completely different currents arise there.
Mark Webber sees consistency as the biggest advantage for Red Bull: 'We're developing something that we know.' Above all, Ferrari needs rest now. If panic breaks out, this season is beyond saving. But that is easier said than done. Maranello is a powder keg.
President Luca di Montezemolo has a short patience, and even Fernando Alonso will not look good forevermake a bad game. The next two weeks will be the most important of the year for Pat Fry and his men. If the Ferrari doesn't find its shape at the next test in Barcelona, the tree will burn in Italy.