Felipe Massa, Ferrari, Shanghai, 2011

Ferrari admit failure to innovate holding them back

2011 F1 seasonPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Felipe Massa, Ferrari, Shanghai, 2011
Felipe Massa, Ferrari, Shanghai, 2011

Ferrari chief designer Nikolas Tombazis says the team need to “rediscover the spirit of innovation which maybe we have lost a bit over the past two years”.

In an interview on the team’s website Tombazis admits the team’s recent designs have lacked innovation: “Unfortunately, we cannot claim this accusation is entirely without foundation.

“At the moment, we don?t have a winning car and, on those of our competitors we can see innovative solutions introduced in a more aggressive fashion than we have done.

“Maybe we were a bit too passive in our approach: we did not push hard enough in some areas of development and unfortunately, the results can be seen on track.

“Now we are reacting and we want to rediscover the spirit of innovation which maybe we have lost a bit over the past two years.

“Despite that, I am convinced that Ferrari will be competitive again. We have had a disappointing start to the season.

“In order to recover from it, I think it is important to understand what mistakes we made and we have analysed this with much honesty and open mindedness. I am therefore convinced that we can get back to winning again.”

The three-week break since the last race has given the team time to evaluate new updates to the car including new front and rear wings and new brake ducts.

Test driver Jules Bianchi completed a straight-line aerodynamic test at Vairano, and Felipe Massa drove the car in a filming day recently.

Tombazis said: “The problem is linked mainly to the aerodynamics and can be divided into two parts.

“The first revolves around a lack of correlation between data from the wind tunnel and that seen at the track: we are reacting to correct this problem.

“Furthermore, we must admit that, even without this problem, we would not have been in a position to fight for the wins in the first three races. We have tried to see if our approach was too conservative and we realised that, for various reasons, we were neither reactive nor aggressive enough in the development stages.

“We have made some adjustments to our working practices to try and focus much more on car performance: we have changed the working practice in the wind tunnel and in terms of the development of the aerodynamic design side. Based on this, I expect that the results of these changes should be seen in the upcoming races.”

Analysis of Ferrari’s troubled start to 2011 here: Can Ferrari turn their season around?

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