Both Ferrari drivers will have a major upgrade this weekend, but Kimi Raikkonen will have a new chassis which is 10kg lighter than Felipe Massa’s to accomodate him and the KERS system. Raikkonen himself is 10kg heavier than Massa, he revealed today.
Ferrari’s biggest problem has been a lack of downforce compared to the opposition. “The car is handling well, the balance is good, there’s just not enough downforce,” said Raikkonen.
The new Ferrari has detailed aerodynamic changes everywhere. The sidepods are more rounded, there is a new engine cover with new exhaust exits as well as a new floor and a new double diffuser. The engineers have had a lot of redesigning to do at the back end of the car to reposition electronics and hydraulic systems to fit in the new diffuser.
The car is expected to feature modifications to the front and rear wings. Neither driver wanted to say what the expected gain is from this package, but it will need to be a minimum of half a second to get them closer to the front of the field. “I hope we can improve more than the others so we can step forward, ” said Massa. “We have good numbers, so I hope we improve very well.”
Most teams have brought updates which should be worth between two tenths and half a second, depending on the scale of the project.
Brawn GP has its first major update of the season with a new floor and new engine cover among other modifications. Meanwhile Renault has been delivering boxes into the paddock this afternoon in a very public way. New rear wings in bubble wrap and boxes of parts were wheeled through the paddock just after lunchtime to be fitted to the cars before practice tomorrow.
With no track testing allowed during the season, this will be the first time any of the teams will be able to get a sense of what effect their updates make on the track and how much they help lap time. It’s going to be fascinating to see who’s up and who’s down.