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Ferrari changes car ahead of McLaren test clash
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Ferrari changes car ahead of McLaren test clash
Posted By:   |  26 Feb 2009   |  10:05 am GMT  |  0 comments

With its first head-to-head testing clash with McLaren due next week at Jerez (1st to 5th), the Ferrari F60 is undergoing a major metamorphosis, according to today’s Gazzetta dello Sport.

The wings and exhausts are being revised as part of a long list of scheduled updates. This is normal and most teams will have extensive updates planned before Melbourne, but after the Bahrain test, Ferrari is under no illusions that they do not have three tenths of a second in their pocket over the field. It looks tight and they need to find more performance to get their nose in front this year.

They also have been working hard on cooling after some difficulties encountered with the KERS system overheating in Bahrain. Like McLaren, Ferrari were quite pleased with the performance of the KERS system so far and are set to push it further at Jerez.

Today the car is running at Vairano, a straight line aerodynamic test facility, with Marc Gene and new parts which convert wind-tunnel figures into reality will appear on the car next week in Spain. Different front and rear wings are being tried.

A major area of focus for all teams is getting the rear tyres to last over a stint without losing performance.

Meanwhile all eyes will be on McLaren’s new rear wing in Jerez, with the team having run an old spec wing most of the time so far.

Personally I will have a close eye on Renault in the next few weeks. It’s been hard to read their performance thus far.

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  1. guy says:

    Should we read anything into the fact mclaren have run the ’08 spec rear wing only thus far – or is it to have a reference point in an otherwise brand new car to assist in understanding the new tyres? If so, why are the other teams running full ’09 spec?

  2. Peter says:

    How exciting the off-season can be with all of the changes and the close lap times during the tests so far. That is why this sport is such a multi-dimensional great business. I am just a bit concerned that with the restrictions of developments all the off-season excitment can go away, which also means less interest, less media coverage, less marketing value during the winter months. Hope we not going to lose any of these dimensions of the sport in the future, FOTA and Co must balance with the ingredients very carefully…

  3. Jason C says:

    It will be very interesting to see them side-by-side, but I can’t help thinking that changing their rear wing to an 09 spec onen will slow McLaren down a fair bit.

  4. Dermot says:

    Were ferrari not already obliged to change their exhausts as, in their initial layout, they were deemed to constitute aerodynamic devices?

    I can’t wait until this test commences..its the first real opportunity to see where everyone is in relation to each other…although Toyota might indulge in a few extra low fuel runs in their usual pre-season stunt to grab headlines.

  5. Peter says:

    In my opinion it is a bit strange that others do not go for this “reference point”. Also, could it be more valuable to have this reference point than actually evaluate the 09 spec rear wing and the whole new aero package..?

    I don’t know, but it seems that it is just the usual Mclaren PR explanation. However they are strong enough to solve this issue within a couple of weeks. I just don’t like the fact they cannot admit they miscalculated something.

  6. Paul L says:

    It will be interesting to see how McLaren have adapted their new car (if at all) to accomodate Lewis Hamilton’s tyre use, which we think is slightly harder than many others.

    If I was to guess, I would say they shouldn’t change it very much. Using the full performance of the tyre seemed to work for McLaren last year better than Ferrari keeping theirs in shape over long stints, and especially in wet/damp conditions where extra heat counted for that much.

    However, with a greater design focus on mechanical grip with slick tyres and banned aero bits, does that now change the potential ideal for tyre use characteristics?

  7. rpaco says:

    I tend to think that the McLaren rear wing did not perform correctly on the final car setup and they have had to re-design it. The theory of benchmarking the performance using last year’s wing has little relevance to the setup on the new regs car. The centre of windage would be different, the drag would be different, the downforce would be different, all theses causing the effective centres of mass and weight distribution required to be different. Either that or its so fantastic that they dare not show it lest innovative parts are copied by others. Obviously Ferrari’s exhaust/rear end had to change, it was not legal, there again we knew that and so did they, so maybe they too have something to hide.

  8. Finn says:

    If they wanted to get an extra few tenths out of the car, they should have signed Alonso.

    Will be very interesting to see how the cars stack up against each other. The late start to the season this year is AGONY!

    I’m ‘unsure’ of Macca’s performance …. think rear tyre/traction issues might be a problem for them. Hope they can work things out so we have drivers fighting for the WDC.

  9. Jon says:

    Very dodgy new type going on in the banner James have to say.

  10. Matthew says:

    Will be very interesting to finally see McLaren and Ferrari testing together.

    I’ve seen rumours that Honda will make an appearance too, I presume at the same test. Forgive my ignorance, but what engines would they use..? Last year’s Honda?

  11. RJ says:

    I find it hard to read these comments on McLaren that say they will struggle just because they have been using an 08 rear wing, they have the best tech people in F1 and their disign team match Newy and his crew, time will tell people.

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