Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali says the team hasn’t given up on the original exhaust configuration which featured on the F2012 in the early stages of pre-season testing – and will try again at the Mugello test in May.
The placing of the exhaust outlets on the 2012 cars has been one of the big talking points of the winter in wake of the FIA’s clampdown on
the blowing of exhaust gasses to deride aerodynamic benefits. Having deliberately taken a more radical approach with the F2012 in a bid to jump both Red Bull and McLaren, Ferrari launched the car with a particularly aggressive solution but was forced to row back to a more conventional layout at the final Barcelona test after encountering knock-on problems at the rear of the car.
Domenicali admits to being “not happy” about being forced to take a step back in this area for now, but says the team’s engineers at Maranello
are still working on a revised configuration that they aim to run at the Mugello test, which takes place on May 1 after the opening four flyaway rounds.
“We had asked our engineers for an extreme car, because without that, we would have been unable to close the gap to the best,” he said
in a briefing with Italian journalists. “The first configuration of the exhausts showed good potential, but it caused problems: the tyres overheated
and the performance was unstable. Therefore we had to change, even if I certainly was not happy about it. We are still working on the original set up, but we will be unable to test it until the Mugello test at the beginning of May, because we believe it could give us a good performance advantage.”
Indeed the Italian reckons Ferrari will only really have a clear idea of where they stand the pecking order after the fourth round in Bahrain,
Domenicali joining Fernando Alonso and Luca di Montezemolo in expressing hope that the F2012’s initial competiveness isn’t as bad as has been feared in recent weeks.
“The lack of satisfaction comes from the fact we did not meet our technical targets and so everything refers to ourselves,” he said. “Where
we are compared to the others, we do not know for certain and our lack of satisfaction might also turn out to be excessive. Having said this, a clearer picture of the hierarchy on track will only emerge after the first four races.”