A closer look at Ferrari’s strategy for 2013
Scuderia Ferrari
Posted By: James Allen  |  16 Jan 2013   |  7:07 pm GMT  |  147 comments

Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali took the stage today at the Ferrari pre-season Wrooom event in Madonna di Campiglio. He said that the 2013 season would be “complex” in terms of managing resources, ruled out a move for Sebastian Vettel while Fernando Alonso is with the team and confirmed that Pedro de la Rosa will join the team in a support capacity. All of these are worth deeper consideration.

First the challenges of competing in 2013 while developing a 2014 car. Ferrari finds itself in a tricky position with regards to wind tunnel time, as its own tunnel is being recalibrated and will not be back on stream until the summer, when it will be working on the very different aerodynamic challenges of the 2014 cars. Ferrari has been using the Toyota wind tunnel in Cologne. But so too has McLaren, which is in the process of developing a new tunnel of its own and needs extra capacity – and both teams have a big demand for tunnel time. So there is a bit of a bottleneck.

One fascinating aspect of this is that it will be a rare opportunity to see what two top teams of engineers can do using the same development tool; normally the teams use their own tunnels to produce the best car they can.

“The development of the 2013 car began in the Cologne wind tunnel and is ongoing,” said Domenicali. “I certainly expect to see greater efficiency than last year because we will no longer need to carry out comparisons of data and correlation with the Maranello wind tunnel, which is currently being rebuilt and is due to be operational again after the summer break.”

Without the problems of tunnel correlation they suffered in 2012, with a stronger aero department and continuity of rules for the most part, there is no reason why Ferrari shouldn’t have a car that is a match for Red Bull and McLaren from the outset. The key will be in developing at the same rate as their rivals, while losing nothing on development of 2014. Mercedes looks to have everything geared to a title assault in 2014, they can afford to focus on that in terms of allocating resources in Brackley and Stuttgart this year and there is great confidence about their 2014 engine.

The other top teams will have to be wary of this when committing tunnel time and resource to 2013 development.

As for the subject of Vettel joining Ferrari in the near future, Domenicali torpedoed this today by saying that the team will not seek to have two Number One drivers at the same time,

“We have always said, and I think that the president also declared, that a ‘dream team’ is something extraordinary if it is well managed and if things work well,” Domenicali said.
“For now, I think that this is not our goal. We have to maximise the balance of our performance of the team. We must be very careful. “It is not just in F1 because it is true also in the world of sport. If you put all the number ones together around the table it can be more damaging than positive. So for the time being, this is not our goal.”

Of course the caveat is the “for the time being” line, which could mean that tomorrow morning it could become their goal, but it seems that the idea of Vettel and Alonso in the same cars is not on the agenda. For Vettel a move to Ferrari post-Alonso makes sense from the point of view of showing that he can do it in a non-Newey car and for the other benefits of Ferrari association. But it’s not going to happen any time soon.

Domenicali admitted that he was under pressure to replace Felipe Massa last season, the little Brazilian under performed badly in 2011 and the first half of 2012, but raised his game in the second half of the year and helped Ferrari to beat McLaren to second in the Constructors’ Championship, which brought some extra prize money and bragging rights.

Mark Webber and Jenson Button were made serious offers to join the team but both declined in order to stay with their existing teams, so Massa got a stay of execution and Domenicali believes that he will be stronger for it. Most of Massa’s problems last year were in his head, trying to deal with having Alonso in the other car. But once he learned to focus on himself, the results started to come.

“I think the toughest part of Felipe’s career is now behind him,” said Domenicali, “After last summer his approach turned about and, as a result, his performance on track changed and he managed to show just how talented he is.

“I’m sure his problem was not linked to his contractual situation. Personally, there was a lot of pressure on me regarding possible changes, but in the interests of the team, I preferred to wait and today, I’m convinced that keeping Felipe in the Ferrari family was the right decision.

On the driver front the Ferrari boss confirmed that the team is trying hard to get test driver Jules Bianchi a move which will “progress” his career; as he was a third driver at Force India with opportunities to drive in Friday practice sessions last year, “progress” can only really come from stepping up to the race seat that is still up for grabs.

There has been talk of Ferrari cutting a deal on engines in return for a seat for Bianchi, but Force India will have to reflect carefully on this as all the signs are that the Mercedes will be the dominant new generation engine in 2014 and they’d be mad to give that up.

Meanwhile an interesting move was made in hiring veteran Pedro De la Rosa. The Spaniard spent many years with McLaren and has intimate knowledge of its simulator, which is an area where Ferrari are still striving to improve. De la Rosa will help them get more from the simulator and will boost development, taking some of the strain off Alonso. He worked very well alongside Alonso at McLaren in 2007 and this should help push up the rate of development.

Ferrari confirmed that it will launch its new car on February 1 in Maranello.

Featured Video
Behind the Scenes at the track
Behind the Scenes at the track
Featured News in ferrari
Share This:
Posted by:

Add comment

E-mail is already registered on the site. Please use the Login form or enter another.

You entered an incorrect username or password

Sorry that something went wrong, repeat again!

The optimum CO2 pressure settings ought to be between 12-14psi for internal

draft beers. I could go on and on about the perfect unity that

is the Arkeg, but I’d only start drooling all over

the keyboard. Fellow Tweeters and beer fans, the ultimate beer serving vehicle is only a few

clicks away.


Whatever the strategy, the investment, etc Ferrari will never go anywhere till Domenicali will be boss. His management of team just brought in terrible results. Hoe many more championships Ferrari must lose before facing the reality that Domenicali and Massa are not up to the standard and must be replaced asap?


James please tell me about the new Mclaren wind tunnel that you was talking. I read on February 2012 that they received the green light to start building Mclaren Applied Technologies Center. It’s another structure like MTC, and like Mclaren Production Center, the new center will be built in the same area. I know that were problems because of the conservationists, but finally they received the green light to start construction. Between the facilities I read about a new wind tunnel. When you said about the new wind tunnel, you was talking about this wind tunnel in this new construction which will be Mclaren Applied Technology Center?? Or another wind tunnel? This wind tunnel will be 100% scale (for Mclaren Automative) or 60% scale (for Mclaren Racining) or can be used for both? James do you have any informations about the stage of the work of the new center? They have all the green light, but in July 2012 the work on the new center, didn’t started because the authorities of Woking implemented a set of tight conditions, but a Mclaren spokeman told that it was only a matter of time? After that I had not heard any news about the new center or the new wind tunnel. Please James, if you know something about this matter, let me know about this to.


“all the signs are that the Mercedes will be the dominant new generation engine in 2014” How can this be determined at this moment in time? Truth is no one knows until the 2014 season starts.



Isn’t one of the big areas for the new generation engines fuel consumption due to the new regulation changes on the amount of fuel that be held/used? Also, isn’t it a fact that Renault engines are currently the most fuel efficient and that is why all of the Mercedes engine teams suffer at the start of the race as they have to start with more fuel?

I’d be interested to hear your comments on this in regard to your feeling about Mercedes likely being dominant in 2014.


In terms of Mercedes having a “title assault” in 2014, I can’t see it. Apart from the glorious 2009 season, under Brawns leadership Honda and Mercedes have always tended to under perform during the season and switch their resources to the next season.


Hi James,

You mentioned that Merc look to be the dominant engine in 2014. How is this so? Are there tests to compare power with Ferrari and Renault?


The Ferrari stratery is looking clear

With Alonso, Gene, De La Rosa, Santander and the demise of HRT all that is left is for the team to relocate to Spain.


Real estate is cheap there at the moment..


James, will there be a change to testing regs to allow the team proper track testing of this new technology, or will they still be limited to their current schedule?


We asked Andy Cowell of Mercedes about this. Problem is you can’t test until you have 2014 car, as the 2014 engine won’t fit a 2013 car.

So we may see some more February testing in 2014, but the engine makers will have done tons of dyno testing of the engines anyway.


It’s actually a great and helpful piece of information. I’m happy that you simply shared

this useful info with us. Please keep us up to date like

this. Thanks for sharing.

Adrian Newey Jnr

James – it seems that a number of teams have had problems shifting from 50% to 60% wind tunnels in recent years. Given these proven problems on development, why haven’t teams left this until a new development year or simply continued using 50% wind tunnels?

This would make a great question for your podcast (I’m a big fan) 🙂


Starting to sound like ….

1. I should put some money on Mercedes for both championships in 2014.

2. Renault and Ferrari should just stop spending any further money on their 2014 engines. No point.


“I think the toughest part of Felipe’s career is now behind him”

Yes… it is over… now that he knows and accepts he will be No.2 for the rest of his career at Ferrari.

Trying to beat No.1 was what caused all the problems.


Or lack of speed or consistancy!!!


Reading the article 2 things came to mind.

The first has already been addressed by others asking what evidence there is that Mercedes has an upper hand on the 2014 engines other than their own PR?

The other is why did you have to use the adjective “little” when talking about Massa? Seems a bit beneath the usual tone of your posts.

Tornillo Amarillo

I’m not sure if Ferrari is taking good decisions or it is just a disaster…

Its strategy is to put Alonso first. McLaren put the the team first. Mercedes, the engine. Lotus, the business. Red Bull put all the parts first, maybe that’s why they are champions again and again.


By putting Alonso first over Massa, this also means putting Ferrari first because Alonso is the stronger driver out of the two. With Alonso taking more wins that’d also count towards WCC table.


I would only be guessing that Mercedes have been developing turbo engines ( very successfully) in their road cars for a few years already now. Im sure there had been tremendous investment in this regard even before F1 made the decision to switch.

Having said that Renault make terrific turbo cars also- it’s probably not on the same level as the Mercedes road cars so far. Ferrari have not delved into turbo technology for many years now so perhaps that is the perception that’s out there now.

As for drivers I truly hope they give Felipe a fair go-regardless of Fernandos no 1 status- I mean surely if Felipe comes out and wins in Melbourne then why not make him no1. I know it’s Santanders money but if Ferrari are at the front that’s what counts most !

Very curious why Mclaren are using Cologne wind tunnel. Is that because they are sharing their tunnel with Marrusia?


@ Elie

What do you mean by fair go ?

Has webber got fair go at vettel over the past seasons anytime ? (Always – Faulty kers, Dodgy pit stops, Poor starts etc )

“Felipe comes out and wins in Melbourne then why not make him no1”. Are you in wonderland or joking ? You can have 2008 or 2006 or 2011 felipe.

Fact is Alonso is a genius. Felipe is not racing kimi or schumi anymore. He is racing against the greatest driver of all time in F1 history


This post is about Ferrari not Red Bull but yeah ! I wish Mark would get a fair go too- absolutely. But very rarely is Mark anywhere near Seb and when he is comfortably ahead they let him win. With Felipe -he is given no chance even if he is half a lap ahead he must bow down.

Btw did you happen to notice that Felipe was faster than Fernando the last few races or was your head too far up Alonsos pants to notice !.

I don’t like either driver despite the fact I rated Fernando best of 2012 by the smallest or margins to Hamilton and Raikkonen. & on their day / season either driver can beat him and on his best day even Felipe can beat him. Despite 3 years at the Scuderia he has not won the championship- that is Definitely NOT the sign of “the greatest driver of all time “..Not even close !!. He was beaten by a rookie at Mclaren- AGAIN- All the more reason to let them race !

How stupid would it be for any team to write off a driver who starts winning races and not give him at least equal opportunity if he leads the championship- the point where it changes then by all means you play the team game. So yes I re-iterate for the dummies – ” if Felipe wins at a melb Ferrari should give him no1. Same for Perez , same for Grosjean, anybody- performance is all that matters !!

When there is no chance for the other driver you then start having no 1.


Some good points, but I’m struggling to remember what turbo cars Mercedes has in their range, other than turbo diesels.

Renault have a fantastic range of small cars using turbo engines. They also pioneered the use of turbos in F1 back in 1978, and have proven ever since to be great engine designers, winning countless races and championships with William, Benetton, Renault (nee Benetton) and RBR.

Ferrari hasn’t had a turbo car since 1987 F40 but they also used turbo engines between 1981 and 1988. I’m not sure if people don’t realise or simply forget, but Ferrari’s parent company Fiat, has some great turbo designs in their range too, both fiat and Alfa Romeo.

To my mind, Mercedes were at their peak in 1998 & 1999, when Ilien designed the engines.

Afterwards, BMW raised the power stakes and only Ferrari was ever in the same ball park.

Over the years we’d witness Mercedes power units fail more than any other, and they seemed hit hardest by the banning of exotic materials like Berylium.

Only when the FIA introduced 18,000 rpm limits did reliability improve

Regards Massa, completely agree with you, if he comes out and wins in Australia then continues to beat Alonso till post Germany.

Fisichella won the 1st race in 2005, but Alonso destroyed him over the remainder of the season.

I don’t believe Massa is anywhere near Alonso’s level, simple as that. Isn’t that what Domenicali alluded to when he spoke of not having two number ones.


New Ferrari Enzo (2012) is V8 twin turbo, so Ferrari is no that unexperienced on turbo engines.


Are you kidding me just check the Mercedes AMG E & S even ML 63 range – they are 5.5l twin turbo beasts. They switched from naturally aspirated (6.2) engines to Turbos just over a year ago. They have thunderous torque. As for reliability -F1 -they have not had any problems for a few years now as you mentioned . even now on the power circuits you could see the difference to the Renaults ( not Ferrari) in the merc powered cars in a straight line they just smashed the others.

Mercedes have always built motors with epic torque – BMW, & Porsche engines beat them for power but not torque. Just wondering when these other manufacturers will join the party – Im guessing when cost cutting actually happens ! Im not doubting Renaults prowess past history in Turbo cars – I wouldnt mind a 265 Megane (2.5 turbo) in their current road cars either. But the other advantage is Mercedes KERS technology is far stronger and more reliable than Renault. I mean gees – how long have we had KERS now 3 years – they are still not as powerful or reliable as the Mercs are they. Fact – No one really knows what each manufacturer has till they roll them out – but if their road cars are any eg – look out !

I was Felipes biggest critic but the last two races he drove better than his team mate. I think we have the Felipe of 2008 back and that guy was pretty darn good. Sure I don’t think he is as good as Fernando this year but next year who knows- and how long can Fernando continue to drive at that level. What people fail to see also is that Fernando gets the best from the team first- this makes him look even better than he is. (I picked him as the best last year- but only a wisker to Lewis & Kimi- in his first year back ! )


#Minor mistake the Renault Megane sports 265 is a 2.0 turbo#

Other point to note is that DI technology is a little advanced now with Mercedes and Renault in their road cars. Ferrari have not gone down this path yet in their road cars because of the higher revs and power & torque spreads their road cars demand ( they are working on next gen DI engines but I don’t think they have not released them yet)


Excuse my ignorance, I hadn’t realised they moved from the 6.2 litre monsters. Although watching top gear, I wonder if rear tyre usage is in Mercedes DNA, both F1 and road cars lol


I can’t see how people think that Mercedes will be a dominant engine in 2014.

More so, Renault is the one that usually comes up with the best solution to new changes, where Mercedes tend to work on their product and improve it over times.

This Mercedes confusion can stir up a storm, cause there is absolutely no indicators to why they should have a better engine, Renault always delivered outstanding power units and innovation is something they certainly do not lack.


Renault builds excellent engines, but remember they were overtaken by other constructors in the Turbo days, despite being the pioneers: Ferrari, BMW and Porsche.

Remember also that the Mercedes turbo engine proved very competitive in Indycars in the nineties.


“all the signs are that the Mercedes will be the dominant new generation engine in 2014” – James, would you care to expand? I’ve seen nothing of any of the other engine manufacturers regarding their 2014 offerings.


Talking around to engineers from various places. It seems to be a widely held feeling that the Merc engine will have the edge


This would presume people who “think” Merc has an edge have had access to secret egine data from 3 different suppliers. That’s difficult to believe.


At the moment it is all based on perception. Unless those engineers from rival teams have met up and compared power outputs/torque/fuel consumption figures (yes highly unlikely) no one knows until Melbourne 2014. Also lets not forget there is still a year to go so anything can change yet.


Of course Mercedes could be very good and competitive. But that doesn´t mean Mercedes is going to be the best car. I think Newey still has the last word.


“As for the subject of Vettel joining Ferrari in the near future”

After the ridiculous “will we or won’t we protest?” nonsense from Ferrari after the Brazilian Grand Prix, I’d be surprised if Vettel ever goes to Ferrari, at least not unless there’s a major personnel change there.


Yer, why?

Back in Monza 2006, Massa complained to FIA about Alonso blocking him but there were hundreds of metres apart. Alonso wasn’t at all happy with Ferrari’s tricks and techniques in dragging him down the grid order. Look where Alonso is now!


“all the signs are that the Mercedes will be the dominant new generation engine in 2014”

James, you seem very sure about this as I believe you brought it up in some of your past articles.

I am sure the visit to Mercedes factory was insightful and impressive, but have you seen the Ferrari engine to make a comparisson? Or why so sure the MErcedes will be the one? How about the Renault?

Scuderia McLaren

Which ever manufacturer gets an early run on the competition in 2014 wont really matter. If there is an engine that has too significant an advantage, whether in power or fuel economy, an equalisation technique will be called for and applied. The powers that be will not allow any manufacturer to completely dominate. This happened in the V8 era also where some manufacturers were allowed to catch up.

Incidentally, my humble opinion is that Renault will actually be the leading engine initally in 2014. They have been pushing hard for this tech and spec for a long time behind the scenes. This type of motor is right up their alley. After they get a run on the comp in 2014, and after the other manufacturers will equalize with their power and fuel economy capacities, the natural evolution of the formula will evolve into a very close performance across all manufactures anyway. Again, this happened in all engine regs over recent history.

I think in 2014, we will see a few GP’s where somone has stolen a lead and enjoyed an advantage. Then a fair bit of in fighting fighting as no manufacturer wants to be seen as the “worse” engine. Then equalisation techniques applied. Then discussion and debate about the next suggested technical change to F1.

And on it goes…


I speculate Mercedes might have started their dev work quite early… Thus many experts probably think that will give them the advantage.


It’s a feeling

One that is shared by a number of people in the sport


This may not be relevant, but remember that a Mercedes turbo engine (Ilmor in 1994, I know… 😉 ) won quite a few races in Indycars in 1994-95. So there seems to be a precedent there. I do not understand how some people can be so skeptic.

Something to do with tactics of Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt?


But this “feeling” is so strong, that Force India are mad if they would choose the Ferrari engine?


It does seem like Mercedes are really the only ones singing about their 2014 engine, I’d say that Renault have the most experience with smaller capacity turbo engines though!?

Adrian Newey Jnr

Surely part of the confidence that Mercedes has springs from the performance advantage their engines have had since at least 2009?

There have been many comments from teams such as Red Bull about being down on power by using the Renault engines since the engine freeze.

Before people say that RB haven’t done too badly by using Renault engines, thats been more down to clever engine management through the off throttle blown diffuser (2011) and now other Newey Snr aero tricks (2012).


James – I am interested in your comment regarding the expectation that the Mercedes will be the dominant new engine in 2014. What is this based on? Why won’t the Renault or the Ferrari be the strongest?


I’m curious as to what facts and conjecture are behind the claim that Mercedes will have the best engine.

The amount of fuel going into the engine is capped by the regulations. I recall something about Magnetti Marelli having a potential monopoly on the direct injectors. For the engine that leaves the valve timing, head and piston shape – which defines the compression ratio and combustion – exhaust and turbo design. The unusual factor here is making a direct injection petrol turbo rev to 15,000 rpm. I don’t know if any valuable knowledge remained in Brixworth after Ilmor separated again in 2005, and methanol combustion has its own design requirements. Either way, the experience the three manufacturers have to me suggests they will all be close on the engines.

Where the three companies are up to with ERS is much more of an unknown. Assuming that Mercedes will have an edge in 2014 because there was one in 2009 is not something I’d do.

I’d be surprised if we learn much from the use of Toyota’s wind tunnel. It cannot give you a design, it can only help you assess what is put inside. The aerodynamicists still have to determine what to test. It is not like a CFD simulation where many incremental changes can be modelled and the best answer given. If it correlates well to the track then it’s a useful tool.




The ERS is going to determine the winning power-unit. Because now there is 161hp of power for 33seconds. That is energy to play with.

There could be a huge gap between engines, not to mention reliability.


Thanks for the nice detailed analysis, Martin.

My thoughts exactly… NOT REALLY. LOL.


Hi JB,

The key question is why would Force India conclude that Mercedes will produce a better power unit than Ferrari?

The ERS system consist of two motor-generator units and the power storage. The motors are pretty common technology and really big efficiencies are achievable so there is unlikely to be much variation there. Batteries possibly supplemented by capacitors to handle the great charging and discharging rates is where the technology is newest. Managing the heat that comes from the internal resistance of the batteries without adding weight and compromising the aerodynamics through the need for additional cooling air is the biggest problem area that I see. New batteries have come along since 2009, and supercapacitors are starting to draw charge per kilogram comparisons with batteries. Why is there a belief that Mercedes has an edge With this technology now?

Turbo design could play a small part to maximise the energy derived from the exhaust that is turned into electricity as lag is not an issue. I suspect the turbo will be one area that will be developed for “reliability” reasons. The exhaust heat coming out of the engine will be influenced by the choice of compression ratio, which will be homologated from March 2014.

As you suggest reliability will be a big part. I believe that all three manufacturers will be able to meet the 120 kW for 33.3 seconds over a qualifying lap. Multi lap runs in qualifying will be more complex due to the storage rules. The effective capacity is limited to 4 MJ, which at the maximum discharge rate of 120 kW gives 33.3 seconds worth. No more than 2 MJ is allowed to go in to the storage unit per lap. For heat management and other purposes the teams may prefer the drivers stick to 16.67 seconds per lap during the race.

I did miss one area of potential engine design variation – up to 25% of fuel, depending on fuel flow, may be injected via the inlet valves. This would reduce the incoming air temperature from the turbo before it is compressed further, but reduces the similar benefit of direct injection. I’ve no idea if there is only one right answer for this, or if the teams will come up with different solutions.

Still, none of this says whose is best.




Interesting to see Ferrari believes their start of 2012 was bad. After all, they were leading at the half way point with 34 pts.

Moreover, Redbull were nowhere in the first half season. Then came from the back and caught Ferrari out. Ferrari was not performing badly at all throughout 2012. It was Vettel that secured all the necessary wins when the opportunity was given. He also made sure the best possible damage control was implemented when required.

My advise to Ferrari.

Development wise – make sure it is in the right direction always. It was the slump in 2nd half of 2012 ruined your chance.

Overall strategy – Be ready to switch to 2014 early i.e. Be willing to let it go. The 2014 season will be one that contains huge gaps between teams like 2009. There will be key innovations that everyone else will first try to ban it then when that is not going to happen, they will do their best to copy it. HAHA…

Finally, Driver treatment – Stop asking Massa to giveaway positions. Because if Alonso won the championship that way, it is just inferior to each of Vettel’s 3 titles.


We migh have seen a different season. Ferrari had a really bad car, but Alonso drive brilliantly. Red Bull had a good car during the whole season and the updates in Singapore helped them to have the best car. What was a surprise it’s Alonso able to fight for the championship and ended only three points behind.


Inspired advice General JB, you have ways of motivating the troops


I’m guessing but not completely sure, I think Ferrari are fully aware of their mid season slump. It probably explains why they are working exclusively with Toyotas tunnel whilst rebuilding their own.

Be ready to let it go?? If F1 shows us anything, it’s the spirit of never giving up.

It’s well documented how Ferrari operate, it’s also beyond any doubt that Alonso drags results out of a poor car better than Massa. Once the cars are “easy” to drive, Massa can access their performance also. Once Alonso is in a WDC fighting position, it’s only then Massa has to play the team game.

But if you honestly believe Vettel isn’t fully assisted and protected by Red Bull, you have been watching another sport. How many times has Webber been told to hold station or quite obviously been treated as number 2? Look at Marko’s comments recently…

Personally, I prefer the honesty of Ferrari, we all know where they stand.

RBR and Mclaren ( Heikki, Lewis is faster than you) have histories of coded messages and 1-2’s. do you remember the public outrage when Melbourne 1998, DC gave away another win to Mika, after Mikas own mistake. It was the first race of the season and a dominant display


Spot on hero_was_senna

You make sense here.

Both RBR and Mclaren do have their number one drivers

RBR treats Webber like a waste. Yet webber often out paces vettel which marko do not like

(Turkey 2010, GB 2010 / 2011). Mclaen do issue team orders. After all ferrari have made the Hierarchy very clear and visible

Massa have no right what so ever to stand in way of alonso. He is too slow and incosistent

Massa is very lucky to hold his seat despite his pathetic performances over the past 36 months


Still, Rob Newman would agree with him 🙂


The car was slow in dry conditions. Everyone considers the win in Malaysia to have been a weather-related fluke.

Red Bull started even worse. No one disputes that, and it doesn’t change the fact that the Ferrari was not ‘fast’ in the early part of the season.


If a car is slow at the start of the season then it is usually slow for the whole season as most teams develop cars at the same rate


Is there any real data as to why Mercedes are continuously spoken as having the best engine come 2014?.

Renault and Ferrari aren’t exactly novices at the engine design game


Agree with you.

Plus engine alone isn’t what make a car win. Aero is another huge factor.

I recall a few years back Adrian Newey or someone said things like Renault had less power but better on CoG, and with his genius F1 car designs, his cars won multiple championships. That’s during years of Merc being the best engine of all.

I recall Korea’s first race, a McLaren and Mercedes with identical engines were side by side down a straight, but McLaren turned out to be faster and got past the Merc with no problems due to the F-duct. Shows how much can change with the most efficient aero design.


Thank you, James, for a very insightful article.

I have 2 question.

Why McLaren needs to use Toyota’s wind tunnel? Do they also have a problem of having their own working 24/7 is not enough?

You mentioned that there are early signs that Mercedes could have a dominant engine in 2014. Ferrari was also very strong in this area. Do you think they will be behind?


The talk about a dominant Mercedes engine is interesting. What are the signs that it will be the best in 2014?

Top Tags
SEARCH Scuderia Ferrari