2 February 2013
Still 'lots to do' on F138, worries Pat Fry
Ferrari's technical director Pat Fry admitted his team started development of the F138 late and is still behind on the aero front - and he won't be happy until they have the fastest car.
Ferrari's technical director Pat Fry was sounding anything but happy and relaxed at the launch of the team's 2013 challenger at Maranello on Friday. In fact, he looked like he had the mother of all to-do lists endlessly cycling through his head, together with a keen awareness of the clock ticking away valuable seconds.
"For me, our progress can never be quick enough," the Englishman admitted. "I feel we still have quite a lot to do to improve.
"In terms of the launch car, we have done a good job on the mechanical installation and the design, we have hit all our stiffness targets and saved a lot of weight," he said, looking on the upside - before then worrying that the car was still "a long way behind" on the aerodynamic front.
"The biggest challenge was the aerodynamic side of things, as we started maybe three months later than is normal," he said. "We have quite a lot of catching up to do and you will see quite a lot of changes coming after the launch."
So how much of this is legitimate concern over how the F138 will perform in next month's season curtain-raiser in Melbourne, and how much of it is down to a perfectionist worrying about vanishingly small details?
"I am never going to be happy unless we arrive in Melbourne and prove to have the quickest car," Fry admitted. "We will have a better idea of what our true performance level is come the third test but I'm not going to be happy until we are clearly quickest."
That's a pretty tall order for the team, given that several other cars on track in 2012 seemed to have the edge over Ferrari on raw pace. Fry's task is not helped by the fact that the technical specifications and regulations have been broadly stable year-on-year, making it harder to find areas to improve on or to develop any new tricks with which to steal a march over their rivals.
"We are not allowed to make direct modifications to the engine in terms of performance," confirmed Luca Marmorini, Ferrari's Head of Engine and Electronics, who works with Fry in the team's technical department.
"The car has changed in subtle ways, some areas more than others, but in general, the F138 is a development of last year's car," Fry agreed, echoing similar comments from the other teams to have unveiled their 2013 cars so far this week.
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