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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."

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
07.10.2012- Nikki Lauda (AU), Mercedes
14.10.2012- Race, Celebration, 2nd position Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB8 and Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB8 race winner with Christian Horner (GBR), Red Bull Racing, Sporting Director
14.10.2012- Race,Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB8 leads Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB8
14.10.2012- Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F2012 leads Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-27
08.09.2012- Free Practice 3, Luca Cordero di Montezemolo (ITA), President Scuderia Ferrari  and Marc Gene (ESP), Test Driver Scuderia Ferrari
14.10.2012- Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F2012
Red Bull RB11
Red Bull RB11
Red Bull RB11
Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat
Christian Horner
Christian Horner
Daniil Kvyat
Daniel Ricciardo
Sebastian Vettel
Kimi Raikkonen
Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel with Ferrari SF15-T
Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel with Ferrari SF15-T

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sanky - Unregistered

October 24, 2012 10:39 AM

If their car is competitive in India, everyone will say Alonso outdrove the car and if they are not, then ferrari will simply say that the upgrades dint work :)

Ptolomy - Unregistered

October 24, 2012 10:35 AM

Ferrari think it is their god-given right to be on top. After all they are "Formula One's greatest team" as we are continually told. I think this wind tunnel nonsense is a way to impress the sponsors. "The wind tunnel was causing all our problems since 2007!" "There is no way we could have designed a poor performing car." And whats the deal with the soothsayer Niki Lauda? Now he's stating the obvious after getting all excited and declaring Alonso the champion already 2 races ago. Really put your foot in your mouth there again Niki. He's playing it safe now and saying stupid things like... "Vettel needs to watch out for those 1st corner bumper cars or he could lose his lead to Alonso. I mean, doesn't anyone remember him saying Alonso IS going to be the 2012 world champion (2 races ago.)

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