Ferrari chief designer Nikolas Tombazis says he is hopeful that the more aggressive approach being taken by the team with its 2012 car will allow the team to hit the ground running when the new season comes around.
Ferrari has won just once this season and has been unable to challenge Red Bull for championship honours, something it will now look to avoid during the new campaign.
Work is already well underway on the car with development of the current machine having come to an end and Tombazis said the team was keen to hit the ground running.
“I hope the results will speak for themselves when we launch the car and more importantly, as we tackle the first few races on the calendar,” he said. “A more aggressive approach has come about as the result of the analysis we carried out of the defeats we suffered over the past few years. We realised we had been a bit too conservative and had closed our minds to some strands of development. So for next year's car, we have sanctioned a much more aggressive approach on the aero front, which has required a much closer working relationship with those developing the structure of the car.
“It might make it harder when considering other aspects of the car, but it allows more room for aerodynamic development. The other element of the new approach is in how we make use of the wind tunnel: it involves not just developing and optimising what we have, but also introducing to every wind tunnel session some new concepts, which sometimes might not work, but sometimes can produce interesting results.
“I think that visually, the new car is fairly different to its predecessor but if it has a wow factor, as our team principal Stefano Domenicali thought, when he first saw the model, then I hope the wow factor will also be evident from the results. We have set ourselves ambitious targets, which we intend to maintain and so, on this front, I am quite optimistic.”
Tombazis added that the remaining races this season would be partly used to try out parts with one eye already on 2012 and the new car.
“The technical rules have not changed that much, with general stability prevailing, apart from the area involving the exhaust system,” he said. “Therefore there are areas on the 150º Italia that are relevant for next year. That means in the remaining races, we will be experimenting with this in mind. For example, we could try a new front wing that represents a different approach in terms of how it works. We can therefore try and learn as much as possible right away.
“Clearly, we also hope it will be beneficial for this year's car too in the races that are left. Even on the exhaust side there are lessons to be learned from what we have done so far, because any in depth study also brings benefits. Our rivals were ahead of us in developing this area and that gave them a big advantage. The lessons we have learned from this and other similar situations in the past, always have a benefit for us in the end.”