Ferrari's technical triumvirate has admitted that, despite the car being unveiled and given its first track outing on Monday [12 January], there is still a lot to do before they would consider it ready for action at the opening round of the 2009 season in Melbourne.

Speaking after Felipe Massa had given the F60 a brief shakedown at Mugello, Gilles Simon, Nikolas Tombazis and Aldo Costa conceded that the radical overhaul of the F1 rulebook for the coming season had left them with numerous angles to consider both in the design and development of the machine.

"Last year, we were fighting for the championship until the last race and concentrated a lot on the car's development," Costa explained, "Today we presented a complete car, which refers also to the level of the engine speed, and fitted with KERS.

"Although we had very short time, I want to congratulate everybody - Gilles, Nikolas and everybody at Maranello. We managed to be the first to have a crash test and we already have several homologated chassis."

Having the longest of any team between launch and first race, Costa confirmed that the Scuderia would continue to develop all areas of the F60, despite sweeping changes to the sport restricting how much teams could spend and how many people they could throw at the task.

"We tried as much as possible to cover the time gap between the developments which have been done on the car at the end of last year," Costa continued, "The development programme will continue with the five tests we've planned at Portimao, Bahrain, again Bahrain, then Jerez and Barcelona. We can have eight aerodynamic tests this year, which means eight days where we can test as far as this issue is concerned."

Tombazis confirmed that work would continue on the new car right up until Melbourne, although the speed at which changes could be made may be limited by expected staff cuts - a problem facing all ten teams.

"The F60 will be very much overhauled for the first GP," he noted, "The rules have been changed recently, so we have to rethink our working methods and the programmes, but this has to be done gradually, without rushing things. We have to evolve the team's structure. Also because this year will be dominated by the team which will be able to develop the fastest, we want to resolve all the issues as far as the mechanics and the reliability are concerned [before the season starts].

"Obviously the KERS' 'nuisance' is remarkable - we're talking about more than 30kg of weight - but we've done a lot of developmental work to insert the system and compensate for it.

"We also want to maximise the aerodynamic development, so I can confirm that, visibly, the car will be really different at the first race. Many rules, as far as the aerodynamics are concerned, are completely new, so the speed of development will be the main issue. Whoever knows how to develop faster will be better than the others. We can work on the development in the Fridays at every GP and, before the season, there's still some good margin. And, if we're ahead at the first race, it means that we can keep our cool."

With no in-season testing, teams will be forced to use the opening day of each grand prix to develop their cars for specific circuits, as well as working on any future ideas. However, the Scuderia is not ruling out the possibility of being able to rework the car if its proves less than successful.

"We have to deal with a shorter coverage," Costa confirmed, "On Fridays, we have to think about the development for the specific races, considering that there won't be any tests on the circuits, and then we also have to move on with the development for the championship - all of this with a limited mileage. It's much more limited. However, we're used to thinking that we can still work on a technical level; so as far as we concerned it's all possible.

"The work at the tests will be more important than in the previous years. We've also several facilities to test sub-components and complete groups, and that's where we'll do most of the work. The race track is, and remains, the final test. We'll work a lot before the start of the championship, just like last year; but this time we'll concentrate our work on one car in five test sessions."

KERS will be one of the main targets for attention during winter testing, as Ferrari attempts to gain ground on those teams more advanced in the system's development, such as BMW Sauber.

"The KERS is a very complex system, which we haven't developed on the track yet," Simon said, "There's still lots of work to do, but we've lowered the impact of the system on the car to a minimum."

While KERS will keep the engine team busy, however, Simon is happier with the way other areas under his jurisdiction have worked out.

"After one year, the MES [McLaren-designed engine management system] is much more developed and stable, and it also seems more balanced than a year ago," he commented, "Also, as of 2009, the engine speed is limited to 18,000rpm and every driver can use up to eight engines over the 17 GPs of this championship. Therefore, the distance target for each unit is now around 2500km."

With work still to do, however, none of the trio was prepared to claim that the F60 was the best Ferrari ever built - as some of their predecessors have been tempted to do with previous models.

"The car's general construction philosophy could lead to the benefits we've seen in the past," Costa concluded, "We try to keep these benefits and develop the parts where we were less strong.

"There have been some radical changes this year and, today, under the light of limitations, the performance will not be higher. The limitations don't allow us to reach the previous performance levels, but I can confirm that the methods improve from year to year, and it happened last winter."


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