Formula 1: Ferrari – Much Work Before the Summer Break
Maranello – Dawn broke over Budapest with clear skies at last, as the last members of the Ferrari team left the Hungarian capital this morning. Some no doubt thought it might have been better to have seen the sun twenty four hours earlier, possibly along with some slightly hotter temperatures, more suited to this time of year. But there is no point in pondering on what might have been, in what turned out to be the wettest July in the history of Formula 1. It is now Aug and time to look ahead.
It’s not yet time for the Scuderia to take a breather. The two week break, established by common accord with the other FOTA member teams, starts next Sunday. Therefore, the next few days sees everyone working flat out to prepare right down to the smallest detail for the second part of the season, which restarts at the magical Spa-Francorchamps circuit on 28 August. The 150º Italias used yesterday in Hungary came back to base this afternoon and the work of rebuilding and preparation started immediately, given that they will already have to be ready to leave for Belgium on Monday 22.
At the end of May, Stefano Domenicali had stated that we would see how went the races leading up to the summer break and then decide the direction for the second half of the year. So, the time has now come to analyse this section of the season and as Domenicali himself said last night at the Hungaroring, there are no plans to throw in the towel. Clearly, the situation in the championship has not undergone a radical change and no one is under any illusions at Maranello, but it’s a fact that the Scuderia has been back on form and, from Monaco onwards, has been capable of fighting for the wins at every race. It is not by chance that Fernando is the driver who has picked up the most points (76) from the last four races and is the only driver to have been on the podium in all of them, with one win, two second places and one third.
One department that is going to be under a lot of pressure in the next few days is Production, which since the recent reorganisation, is led by Corrado Lanzone: the aim is to produce all the planned updates from the development programme, especially in terms of the car’s aerodynamic package, in time for the next race. In fact, everyone will be kept very busy: from the engine specialists who will be refining the interface of the exhaust gases with the aerodynamics, an area which in turn will be working on fine tuning the new parts for Monza and the run of races outside Europe. The engineering group will also have plenty to do, as they push forward on parts aimed at improving the pit stop process. And all of this taking place as work on defining the concepts that will shape the 2012 car gets underway.
The drivers are also still at the coalface. Felipe Massa left Budapest last night along with some of the team and today he is in Maranello to work on the simulator and to have a series of meetings with the engineers, before he flies off to Brazil tonight. As for Fernando Alonso, he returned home to Spain, but next weekend, he and Stefano Domenicali will be taking part in Wrooom Summer 2011, the summer version of the event that Scuderia Ferrari has hosted for the past twenty winters for a group of Formula 1 journalists, at Madonna di Campiglio in the Dolomites. However, from next Sunday, everyone will get a real break in which to fully recharge their batteries before tackling the remaining eight races of the season, running from 28 August to 27 November, on three different continents. That means three months of very intense activity and, all “Ferraristi” hope they will also be three months filled with satisfaction.