F1 Winter Break
Ferrari sure development recovery underway and vows to go ‘aggressive’
Scuderia Ferrari
Posted By: James Allen  |  23 Oct 2012   |  6:20 pm GMT  |  88 comments

The paddock is awaiting Ferrari’s on-track response to being toppled from the head of the drivers’ championship for the first time since mid-June in India and the team today has promised this weekend will herald the start of an “aggressive” development push for the remainder of the season.

While Red Bull’s steady, and consistently impressive, rate of development over the past few races has allowed Sebastian Vettel to win three grands prix on the spin and establish a six-point cushion over Fernando Alonso at the top of the drivers’ standings, Ferrari’s bid to improve the F2012 has been stymied by correlation problems with its wind tunnel.

However, in wake of a straight-line aero test ahead of this weekend’s return to action in India, Ferrari’s chief designer Nicholas Tombazis is confident the team is back on the right path with the car.

“The data we saw in the wind tunnel did not match 100% the data we were getting from the track,” he told Ferrari’s website. “We had some unpleasant surprises from some of the updates we brought to the last couple of races, so immediately, we wanted to fix that and understand where it had gone wrong.

“Therefore we have had an aero test prior to heading off to India, where we ran control tests on these updates to really understand what the problem was. We got some very interesting answers which we believe will allow us to recover from those problems and so, our aim in this forthcoming Indian GP, will be to make up the ground we have lost.”

Although the testing of various rear wings at recent events has characterised the kind of problems Ferrari has been experiencing, Tombazis insists that “does not mean that all our work in the wind tunnel has been worthless” and says the push to find improvements has been renewed now the team is trailing in the championship.

“We don’t currently enjoy an advantage, either in terms of performance or as far as the points situation is concerned, we cannot defend, we must attack and adopt an aggressive approach to car development for these four races, bringing updates to every one of them to close the gap and fight for the wins and hopefully bring home the titles,” he added.

“Our aim is to bring, in as short a time as possible, all the developments we have tried in the wind tunnel to see how they work, confirming their performance, so that we don’t encounter the same problems as before. That way, for every race, we hope to get closer to those ahead of us so that we can fight for the wins.”

Tombazis reiterated that Ferrari will close its wind tunnel to allow for upgrades for a period of “several months”, with an external tunnel to be used in the corresponding period, and admits that while usually not ideal to use two different tunnels, it will give the team the chance to drill down on where exactly their own one has gone wrong.

He added that unlike in winter 2008/2009 there would not be any negative knock-on effects of developing right through the season: “We have the good fortune that the rules remain basically stable for next year, which means we can carry on developing this year’s car without compromising the 2013 one. The work we do aerodynamically for this year’s car can be beneficial for both. We can work on improving the weak points on the current car which will help for next year, although the main structural elements of the 2013 car are already fixed: chassis, gearbox, mechanical layout, suspension and crash structures, with the car already in production.”

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I really hope they can improve their form and take the WDC to the last race. Now that McLaren are effectively out of the running I would like Ferrari to beat RBR...


Ferrari needs to spend $300 mill, just like RBR. Grrrrr!


Heard that for three years now. Why should this time be any different?


because nothing last forever.


I read this quite enormous thesis when Ferrari posted it this afternoon and what struck me was this is the second defensive issue from ferrari.com in a week.

The first was to explain why they retained Massa and re-inforced the fact that his team mate had no influence at all on the process.

And now this. Particularly after Stefano went to great lengths post race interview Japan to say, "The wind tunnel is and will not be an excuse for my team".http://wp.me/p2HWOP-eh

Appears his chief designer did not hear his thoughts.


I didn't get that impression. Don't confuse a reason for an excuse.


Ok - justification maybe?


I'm a Ferrari fan and I may be biased but I don't think vettel winning again this year is a good thing for f1. Better if Fernando wins as it will be back to one team winning everything. And no doubt vettel will probably be the favourite for next years title also. I know the Ferrari drive is every drivers dream but why seb would walk away from what he has now is beyond me.


"I know the Ferrari drive is every drivers dream"

There is no self ordained belief that all drivers should want to "finish" their career with Ferrari.

This dillusional romantic nonsense peddled oby those who like to drive around in red cars!

The real reason is the MONEY! Ferrari are the richest team, enshrined by Bernie's F1 commercial deals so they can always afford to pay the most! That is the reality.


Every drivers dream - yes I agree, I'm a Force India fan (purely because I loved the Jordan team), and I think Mclaren make the most beautiful cars, but if I could drive any F1 car, it'd be a Ferrari. However, if Vettel goes to Ferrari, who's to say Alonso wouldn't eye of that vacant Red Bull drive (I know he has a 5 year deal with Ferrari, but right now there not forfilling his dreams). All I hope title wise this year, it goes to the last lap of the last race 🙂


Bit of a sub question I forgot to add, does anyone think Senna would have driven a Ferrari eventually? I do!!!


Senna had spoken to Ferrari at different stages of his career, ultimately using this tactic to force Ron Dennis to pay him more.

He left to win with Williams in 1994, but it's been confirmed by people who knew him that his intention was to win 2 further championships with Williams and drive for Ferrari at the end of his career.

He is quoted as saying "even if it as slow as VW Beetle, I want to finish at Ferrari"


Senna always wanted to drive the best car, he thougt it was the Williams and that`s why went there and not to Ferrari.


Sorry meant to say end his career at Ferrari.


Yes. At Imola 1994 he told Luca di Montezemolo that he wanted to end his career. We all know what happened next!


Why Ferrari? I have nothing against them but why shouldn't Lotus and Kimi win? That would be nice.


Because they have to earn it. With the second best car mid season they are just forth in the standings.


No im not a Red Bull fan (by no means). However I do support Mclaren and don't mind Ferrari. You are dead right. Red Bull and Vettel bored me to death in 2011... and that was my first year following f1 (Why didn't I follow it earlier, its now one of my favourite sports). I just hope Alonso can win and end the Red Bull dominance...and arrogance.


Don't worry, I am not a Ferrari fan at all, but I am really hoping Alonso wins, rather than Vettel. Why? Because Alonso is clearly the far, far superior driver (again not a fan but this is the case), as well as being a nicer and more humble person.

However I don't hold out much hope, Adrian Newey will be on to his 3rd WDC it seems.


I believe Adrian has a few more than two currently...


Have to agree, I hope Alonso wins as well and I am about as little a Ferrari fan as you can imagine.

And it will be Newey's 3rd WDC in a row. If you tot it up if Vettel and Red Bull both win this year again, he will have 9 drivers and constructors championships since 1992. Pretty impressive seeing as Ferrari dominated 5 of those 20 years.


I'm a RB fan and I agree with you. Vettel, like his mentor, needs to learn how to lose again.


Interestingly, although I'm not a Ferrari fan, I agree! A Ferrari win would be better than another run-away romp by Red Bull - although to be fair, things have been tough this year and you could argue the winners (whoever they are) deserve the championship.

I also agree about Seb moving. You can argue that moving is logical when you think you're getting nowhere with your current could-do-better team (eg Lewis!) but in Seb's case surely it's better to stay with a top team and "prove it's your driving that makes the difference", and keep them up there, rather than switch to a team that you hope will do better (but might not) AND put up with a team having an incumbent No.1 driver, having to accept being a No.2 (which is what Felipe is very good at doing and why they kept him).


Just out of curiosity, if Ferrari had won the last two championships, would you think another team winning now would be better for F1? ¦¬)


anyone remember the "aggresive" ferrari at the beginning of the year? sounds like PR talk to me.


Well, it is not that after those statements, they did not lead the Wc for most of the races of the season.

They did indeed.

Cudos to RB for stepping up another notch, but if Alonso would not have been knocked out twice, he would be still leading with more than 20 points.

The RB DNFs, cannot compare to alonso's, since they were equipment failure, which are responsibility of the team. therefore they fall in the category of a job not executed well enough.

After all, the car Ferrari gave to alonso, allowed him to win races and to step on the podium and once Massa got back to his real self, he did the same.

RB is just doing a better job lately.

let's see how the last 4 races will go.


Haha, hilarious! I wish I had time to go through news archive and bring those interviews and media releases up!


We heard this 'we're going to adopt a more aggressive' attitude after Japan, I've been messing around for ages on the Ferrari site to find the link but its so slow to load each article.

I remember thinking it was ironic that it inferred Alonso was going to have to fight harder rather than play the 'beat my next rival' game.

It feels like Ferrari know they've not got enough development to bring to the car and are just hoping for the best.


yep, and that worked out well for them!


So from what Ferrari say, the inference drawn is they would have been out of reach had they had a proper wind tunnel? Is that really the case James?


Yeah talk is cheap, pity Ferrari can't put as much energy into improving the car as they can with rhetoric.


haha - sure...ok.

So the car that they started off the season with hasnt been improved vastly then? A car that has been put on pole and won races despite being massively off the pace come Albert Park this year...?

You mean that car, which they have not been able to improve?

just wanted to check


OK, seriously... I wasn't putting them down, just stating what most people (including Alonso himself!) are already saying - that their hoped-for improvements now are marginal and may not be enough for the rest of the season. I admire Alonso and much of their improvement this year has been down to him as much as the car.


Yep, that's the one! 😉


I really believe they will be faster than the last few races and most probably (read hopefully) faster than the Bulls.

Bring on Friday practice!


Haven't we heard this before? Looks like Ferrari is panicking and want to keep the sponsors happy.

Ferrari is not a bad car as some people might think. It is a race winning car and it is currently second on both championships. They did very well in India last year and I expect the same this year as well. I am sure they will be strong in the next few races.


given the status quo from the last race where massa appeared to be faster than alonso due to the new exhausts then by extrapolation alonso should also have the same in india and be faster in his car.

if RBR doesn’t take another performance step then the race should be wide open for both teams. only time will tell.


I am a Ferrari fan and I am sure all GP F1 lovers will not be very happy if Vettel wins the WDC again. With due respect to Vettel winning 3 races on the trot, he just got lucky in the 2 races before Japan where Alonso was taken out by Grosjean (Renault) and Kimi (Renault) respectively - though no fault of Alonso or his team - Ferrari. One would argue Vettel also had his share of failures, YES, but his were team- reliability- reliability, that his issues were sele inflicted, and NOT the same as Alonso. As such Alonso deserves the win of the WDC. Forza Ferrari- Ferraristi: Ahmed Ginnah -


Not withstanding the fact that Alonso is not exempt from responsibility in his early retirement at Spa i really do not understand this argument that, because Vettel's retirements came from mechanical failures, he is somewhat less unlucky when thes take place. The question is, could he do something about those failures from the cockpit? Most likely not. In the end the WDC is always about finding the best driver-car combination of the year so one might argue that the Vettel-RB duo was not as unlucky as the Aolnso-Ferrari combination but you cannot argue that Vettel alone had responsibility in his share of failures. On the contrary Vettel was deprived of a sure win in one of his retirements (inherited by Alonso, so 32 points there) and the same cannot be said of Alonso's retirements.


What a deluded and myopic view, am a GP lover and would be happy if anyone won as F1 is about the fastest driver and package winning also reliability is not a team fault as its a component out of 1000's that failed so I guess you can also say Alonso winning in Valencia was luck then. Also the gains made in spa was negated by Vettels DNF in italy


Taking by Grosjean was a racing accident and everybody could be involved there, and from one side, arguing it was not Ferrari's fault from other side e.g. it was Ferrari's fault not providing him the car capable to get 1st row in a qualy thus eliminating risk of starting accidents,

and what by Kimi, it's doubtful also I think more it was Alonso's fault, perhaps he thought he was dealing with Jenson?! NO, it was Kimi but, and that's the mistake of FA!


To All Ferrari/ Alonso Fans,

what do you think about the team orders to Massa favoring Alonso in not just one but two races? Does that still make Alonso a "better" or "good" driver and Ferrari a better team over RBR/ Vettel? How would had been points table if there were no team orders?


And if Vettel has/had better car than other teams then why Webber had not been/ is not performing as well as Vettel? This would be question to people who dont wish Vettel to win cause he has better car.


No! Ferrari would have been out of reach if it wasn't for Lotus. RG taking out several cars on the first lap at Spa (Stop me if you have heard of RG taking out drivers on lap one before) and KR taking out Alonso on lap one in Suzuka. A race in which Massa finished 2nd.

You can try to make the argument that Red Bull and McLaren also did not finished several races, but unlike them, it was no fault of Ferrari. Red Bull had alternator issues and McLaren had gearbox issues. Ferrari have not had any mechanical issues. Their cars have been very reliable.

In the last two races, Ferrari will have brand new engines while Red Bull and McLaren will have to use engines with miles already on them. Remember what happened to Vettel at the 2011 Indian Grand Prix?


I'm convinced most Alonso fans are a bit deluded, as this post clearly shows agin


Reading nothing but the Spanish press will do that to you...


Yea he won the race.You need to fact check before you post.


"Remember what happened to Vettel at the 2011 Indian Grand Prix?"

He utterly dominated and produced a fastest lap something like a second quicker than the 2nd fastest lap? Lol


Sorry. Not only did I get the year wrong, but I also got the race wrong as well. As they say "my bad". The year was 2010 and the race was the Korean Grand Prix.

This remains me of an exercise my college psychology professor did. She started the class by writing a very long paragraph on the black board. In the final sentience, she purposely misspelled one of the words.

Most of the students in the class were quick to point out her mistake instead of focusing on the message of the paragraph. Do you know what her message was? We are a very negative society. Seldom we were ever focus on the positives in anything. We are always looking for the negative.

My main message was on reliability and engine supply, but all you commented on was that I got the year wrong. I enjoy the banter with the other people who expressed their opinions, but all I had to say to you was "I was wrong" and you had nowhere else to go.


Yeah but you asked the question.


Matt - you do realize what you just did, surely? You basically were looking at MY comment negatively.

I was NOT, in fact, looking for mistakes in your comment. We are humans - and in my line of work (I won't go into that as I tend to ramble on too much) I know that a lot more than most other people.

I got the message loud and clear - that it's not over till the fat lady sings. However given that you had made your point very clear through the tone of your post anyways, I didn't feel it necessary to re-state it.

I just found your ending sentence very funny in an ironic way, that's all.

Sometimes it's best not to overthink situations... especially comments made by someone you don't know, and will probably never meet... lol.


kr did not took out telfonso its the other way around, watch it again or maybe u need a glass


Maldonado and Grosjean taking out Hamilton at Valencia and Spa robbed Lewis from quite some points as well.

And Alonsos retirement at Suzuka was not KR's fault but his own.


I will give you Grosjean taking out Hamilton was 100% Grosjean fault, but the incident between Hamilton and Maldonado was 100% Hamilton fault. His tires were gone, fighting crazy man Maldonado was just not a smart thing to do and Hamilton paid the price.

Do you want to see what a SMART driver would do? Go back and watch Alonso at Silverstone and Canada. When his tires were gone, he didn't fight foolishly with the drivers whose tires were in better condition. He got all the points he could and lived to fight another day. He is not trying to win every battle. He's trying to win the war.

How can Alonso take out Kimi when he's in front of him? I personally think that Kimi purposely took out Alonso inorder to reduce Alonso's point lead over him. You can always replace the front wing, but in trying to nurse an F1 car around the complete lap, you will eventually damage the bodywork and have to retire from the race.


Maldonado tried to pass Hamilton with 4 wheels off the track, which is not even allowed.


"Ferrari have not had any mechanical failures" well not in the race this year yet.


Key word being YET. After 16 races, do you seriously believe that reliability will be an issue for Ferrari? Keep hoping! lol


Lol yeah I do hope I haven't jinxed them.....


Four races to go and they've now just realised that their windtunnel hasn't been working properly.

What's the Italian term for "Ooops" ?

Craig in Singapore

I believe it's "Mama Mia!"



"Ooops" in Italian is "Ooops" (it's the same) 🙂



I have a little theory that Ferrari is confident that there upgrades are going to be good enough because Massa already is using them from last race but Fernando didn't because it was to much to risk in terms of reliability and speed but now it's proven it's a step in the right direction ?


I don't mind the idea of Vettel winning again; good on him and RB if he does. I would however like to see the competition staying tight right 'til the end of the season though. Not just for the sake of this year; if RB get further and further from the others for the rest of the season, it doesn't bode well for next year when the regs will be basically the same. The only thing I guess they'd lose is their DDRS.


This means 'we are copying red bull as fast as possible'


Hahahaha! Wonder if that can include a fully functioning double DRS onto the car before it's too late!


Hi James,

Why do Ferrari not use another preferably full size wind tunnel - even temporarily for just a week or so - to test out some aero parts for the good of the next few races?

It seems to me they are really damaging their close out of the championship by not getting clear wind tunnel results. Is this an "excessive cost" consideration?


I thought you weren't allowed to use full size tunnels with the allowed max being 60% scale?


True, but if you use Toyota's wind tunnel, the other 40% may be recalled.


They have been using Toyota's extensively.


and that worked well for toyota...


It did when Mike Gascoyne was there...

Jonathan De Andrade

Tunnel is for testing. I believe Ferrari has more output capacity on engineering than Toyota ever had. That is the difference ...


Did anyone notice - He said "bring home the titles". Sounds to me like Ferrari definitely know the potential of the upgrades they are bringing.

Ferrari are 77 points behind Red Bull in constructors with 172 on the table.

What a story that would be if Ferrari win both the titles. A long long shot but after all this is Formula 1.


My hope is, this is not just PR talk and that Ferrari does close up to Red Bull. Comes year end, I do not care who is the WDC, Alonso, Seb, Kimi or whomever. What I hope is that the championship goes to the wire. As I see it who ever wins it, will have earned it, regardless of what many seem to think with regard to Seb & his Bull.Marc


"They have been using Toyota’s extensively"

Oh dear, things aren't looking good then!


Sorry, iPhone keeps changing my name to Lucid.


I hope Ferrari go backwards and even loose 3rd place - although I don't see that happening. They were definitely "on it " in Korea with Massa . I don't know what's worse Ferrari winning or Red Bull .

Ferrari are renowned for downplaying their chances so if they have something "interesting" you can be guaranteed they have found 1/2 second or more.

My dream is that Lotus win the remaining 4 races and Kimi wins the championship- but "that is what it is ".. ! The next best would be Hamilton doing really well in the next four races also and the championship goes down to the wire.!


Dream on...


"..but that is what it is"


And what will RB be doing sitting on their laurels or moving the benchmark...


Alonso needs a win. That's all. Just one single win. It'll be enough. He drives for Ferrari; unarguably the greatest, most famous racing team in history. Is it too much to ask? One single victory. Come on, Ferrari. Do it. Give him the machinery to win. Not a mundane car in which his talent shines spectacularly, but a special car that takes him to victory. Like a Rolls on the M4. Whisper quiet, going about its business, never leaving the fast lane. That's how I imagine it is for Vettel. He's not a passenger, by any means. More a pilot. He operates the controls efficiently, but the car is exceptional. It is a thing of beauty. It is the car that drives him to victory. Why can't Fernando have a car like that? I see Fernando see-sawing at the wheel, sliding into - and out - of corners, chopping and changing his style, praying for rain, eeking everything he can out of everything he has. The luxury of a fast car appears to be forever out of reach. How long has it been since he had a championship winning car? 2007? I wonder whether he'll have it in him to raise his game to this level again if he loses this championship. To give so much, for nothing. It must play on the mind of a competitor.


Good grief.


1 win= WDC ? dont think so u must be a die hard telfonso fan


Personally not fussed who wins as I think that this is one season especially where whoever does end up winning will thoroughly deserve the glory.


Being aggressive is one thing, getting it right is another. Alonso has done more than his best. He deserves his third WDC without a doubt.


From what I have read elsewhere, Ferrari have a new chassis, front wing aerofoils, rear wing, side-pod panels, exhausts, and brake ducts. So hopefully, this will translated in terms of performance on the track, like the straight line tests. Also, could someone confirm whether Massa was running some of these updates in Korea, as apparently the reliability of them was uncertain at the time, and Alonso did not want to take any risks?


Watching Alonso's mighty string of podium finishes (with the inferior car he's driving) against a bunch of spoiled kids in faster cars, I can only say he's already there with the greatest ever, regardless of whether he wins this year or not.

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