Ferrari has travelled to India with some improvements for its 2012 car, test driver Marc Gene has revealed.
Despite admitting its wind tunnel has not always been up to scratch this year, the Italian team remains determined to fight back after Fernando Alonso lost his long-standing championship lead to Red Bull’s on-form Sebastian Vettel two weeks ago in Korea.
Spaniard Gene is quoted by the EFE news agency as admitting Ferrari has brought “a number of improvements” to India, the fourth-last stop on the 2012 calendar, but insisted it does not add up to a “great revolution”. Photo credit: Ferrari S.p.A.
“But we do hope they help,” he said.
“All the time there are less and less races, so we are doing everything to end the championship with even a single point more than second place,” added Gene.
Spain’s Marca newspaper said the changes to the F2012 are in the area of the exhaust, the wings and the diffuser, amounting to “between 0.2 and 0.4 seconds” per lap.
Chief designer Nicholas Tombazis confirmed Ferrari tried the improvements during a straightline track test last week, after finding that parts tested only in the wind tunnel ahead of recent grands prix brought “unpleasant surprises”.
“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,” he said.
F1 legend Niki Lauda, however, warned that it might already be too late for Ferrari, particularly as he has heard that Red Bull has also travelled to India with some car developments.
“If that goes well (for Red Bull), then it becomes very difficult for Alonso,” he told the broadcaster RTL.