With the championship settled, teams are using the final races of the season as a test session looking at “carry over” items, which could be used in 2012. Ferrari’s Nicolas Tombaszis said last week that they would be trying out some new parts, including a new front wing.
And so it proved in Korea. Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa carried out back to back tests over the weekend, with Alonso taking the wing for the qualifying and race. It featured several Red Bull-esque touches, such as the endplates, the main plane slot and the large top flap, and was considered to be a possible direction for 2012.
It was hard to judge from qualifying, where Alonso made a mistake in his final run, but it appeared that there was nothing much to choose between the performance of the two Ferraris in Q2 or Q3.
In India in two weeks time we are likely to see many of the leading teams pushing forward with 2012 development parts, using the final three races as an extended test session so that they can all come out of the box primed and competitive in February next year.
“The focus has to start moving towards next year,” said Red Bull boss Christian Horner. “We have less than four months to design and build a completely new car, which is why Adrian (Newey) elected not to attend this race. He is busy back in the UK focused on RB8.
“The remaining races are the only track time other than a young driver test between now and when the new car is born, so we will look to learn everything we can out of the track with the time we have available and that means pushing right up until the chequered flag in Brazil.”