Pat Fry has urged his troops at Ferrari to be more 'creative' over the next winter of development ahead of the F1 2012 World Championship campaign – stressing that it was a lack of just such creativity last winter that has ostensibly cost the team a chance of fighting for the crown this season.
Fears were expressed by observers right from the outset this year that Ferrari had been somewhat too conservative in the concept of its F150° Italia, and with the car having failed to win a race thus far in F1 2011 – and indeed having tallied just three podium finishes from the opening eight grands prix, all courtesy of double world champion Fernando Alonso – it would appear that those fears were well-founded.
chassis director Fry insists that with in-season development rates much-of-a-muchness between the sport's leading contenders, the real advantage is gained over the off-season – but the Englishman cautions that a focus on pioneering dynamic new innovations for next year's challenger must by the same token not be at the expense of extracting the most out of this year's package, after team principal Stefano Domenicali recently hinted at a potential full-scale switch of resources to 2012 [see separate story – click here
“In reality, as there's not a big rule change [for 2012], we can carry on developing this car all the way through,” the former McLaren man is quoted as having said by SPEED.com
. “We're learning different techniques. The only thing that won't carry over is anything we learn from the exhaust system and blowing the floor. We will develop things on this car all the way through to the end of the year, because it's improving our understanding for next year.
“If you look at the rate at which all the teams develop through the year – Red Bull, McLaren, Mercedes – their actual development rate though the season is very, very similar. Obviously, you bring different packages to different races, but if you average it out, we all develop at the same sort of performance rate – so you have to be creative, and make the bigger steps in the winter period. Red Bull have done a very good job; we need to do a better one. We need to create the environment where we can make a bigger step.”