Luca di Montezemolo, the president of Ferrari, has publicly entered the debate about the problems the new F2012 has been having in testing, increasing the pressure on the technical team hurrying to find the remedy.
Speaking in Geneva ahead of the launch of the new F12 Berlinetta, the most powerful road going Ferrari ever with 740 horsepower (similar to an F1 car) he said, “I spoke to Alonso and he said that that there are many positive features on the car, but it will take time to unlock their potential. It’s a car still to be discovered and only in Melbourne will we know where we are.
“I hope that the predictions about us are wrong. And if they are true I will want to know why this has happened and how many seconds it’s going to take to put it right.”
Reading between the lines it’s clear that Montezemolo does not have the patience should Ferrari start the season as some are predicting, well behind the Red Bull/McLaren battle and maybe behind Mercedes too.
Montezemolo’s comments follow those of Technical director Pat Fry on the Ferrari website last weekend, “We are disappointed with the performance level seen at these tests and I think we have a lot of work ahead of us. We will have a few updates for Melbourne, basically aimed at readapting the car to the exhaust configuration we have chosen to run for at least the first four races of the season.”
Ferrari’s own overview of Fry’s comments in the same posting on their website read, “His analysis of the twelve days of testing carried out these past two months between Jerez and Barcelona is lucid and not does not leave much room for illusion, although it does not abandon itself to self flagellation of the masochistic kind.”
According to my colleague Giorgio Piola, the veteran Italian technical journalist writing in Gazzetta dello Sport today, Ferrari is working on a significant chassis modification involving the sidepods, which could require a new crash test under Article 16.1.2 of the 2012 FIA Technical Regulations. According to Piola there could be one or two other teams making similar moves, it is believed.
It’s a race against time with the cars needing to fly out to Melbourne at the end of this week.
* Marussia announced yesterday that it’s car has now passed the FIA crash tests and is ready to race in Melbourne