24 October 2012
Ferrari improves F2012, but is it enough?
Ferrari will take development parts to this weekend's Indian Grand Prix, but will they be enough to combat the charge of Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel?
Ferrari test driver Marc Gene has revealed that he fears the Scuderia's latest updates won't be enough to halt Sebastian Vettel's march to a third successive f1 world championship.
Speaking to Spanish news agency EFE, Gene confirms that Ferrari will have a handful of development parts to take to this weekend's Indian Grand Prix, but concedes that they are not likely to be major 'game-changers' in the battle for supremacy with Red Bull, which has won the last three races with Vettel, and helped the German turn a 29-point deficit to Fernando Alonso into a six-point lead with four races remaining in 2012.
"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," Gene insisted, “There are a number of improvements on the car for India and, while they do not constitute a major revolution, obviously we hope that they will help.”
Despite having ceased using its own wind tunnel to develop parts for the car, after it continued to provide unreliable data, the F2012 is expected to feature differences at its rear, principally centred on the wing, diffuser and exhaust which, according to chief designer Nicholas Tombazis, could amount to a gain of several tenths.
“When you have problems correlating data between the wind tunnel and the circuit, it is best to check things on track,” he told the team website after the Scuderia carried out a straight-line test at Idiada, “We ran control tests on these updates to really understand what the problem was, and we got some very interesting answers which we believe will allow us to recover from the problems [caused by the wind tunnel]."
Former Ferrari driver Niki Lauda, however, believes the horse may already have bolted, with Red Bull having seemingly stolen a march in the development race since introducing its own version of 'double DRS' at the Singapore Grand Prix.
While he warns Vettel not to begin celebrating just yet – citing Alonso's first lap exits in Belgium and Japan as reason to be wary of complacency – the Austrian shares Gene's concerns that Ferrari may be bringing too little to late in its bid to hand Alonso a third championship title.
"At the moment, everything is running in Vettel's favour, but it would be premature for him to celebrate as world champion just yet," Lauda told oe24.at, “Alonso looked a safe bet to be world champion, but has been shot down twice. This shows just how quickly things can turn around.
"However, if this weekend goes well for Red Bull, then I think it becomes very difficult for Alonso."
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