Ferrari is set to use its development tokens on carrying out a major redesign of the rear-end of its SF1000 for the 2021 Formula 1 season.

The Scuderia is currently enduring one of its most challenging seasons in F1 having been forced to take a “significant change of direction in terms of development” after discovering flaws with its car design during a disappointing pre-season.

Having slipped back into the midfield pack, Ferrari has been rapidly upgrading its SF1000 in a bid to recover back up the order and introduced a two-part update package across the last two rounds in Russia and Germany.

After seeing “signs of progress” at the Eifel Grand Prix, Ferrari will bring further updates to this weekend’s Portuguese Grand Prix as it bids to claw performance back on its car that it will carry over into next season.

Speaking in an interview with Italian publication Autosprint, Ferrari’s head of chassis engineering Simone Resta confirmed the team will be focusing its permitted development on the rear-end of its car for 2021.

"We will redo the rear of the car," Resta said.

"We think that this is the area that will allow more room for development between chassis and aerodynamics for 2021.

"Furthermore, the rear of the car will be affected by regulatory changes that the FIA are introducing to reduce the aerodynamic load in order to limit the stress on the tyres.

"As a result of these changes, all teams will lose a number of points of downforce, and it will be essential to work to recover as much as possible.

"All of this makes us believe that the most important area in which to spend development tokens is the rear.”

F1’s carry-over of car designs into 2021 will be managed by a token system that will see the design of certain elements frozen, though there is scope to make aerodynamic improvements.

While Ferrari hopes revising its rear-end will ultimately help turnaround its fortunes, F1’s quest to keep costs down by restricting development is unlikely to result in a dramatic increase in competitiveness for the team, according to Resta.

"Freedom is not as total as it appears," he explained. "You can develop [the engine] freely [over the winter] but it will be frozen from the first 2021 race onwards. Then you can't touch it any more.

"The aerodynamics, even if free, are still limited in form by what [structure] is underneath. You have to consider aerodynamics like a dress: it must be worn over a body, so in a certain sense the dimensions of the body affect the final shape.

"So if the nose structure remains the same, I may be able to design a new front wing but my creative autonomy will still be limited.

"All these freezes and limitations lead us to think that we will find it difficult to reasonably recover in a single season the gap we have now to the leaders."

 

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