Ferrari’s decline in performance during the 2013 season is not solely down to the change in tyre compounds according to chief designer Nikolas Tombazis.
Having won two of the first five races this year Ferrari have slipped back from the pace-setters in recent races. Fernando Alonso said last week the new tyres Pirelli introduced after the failures which occured during British Grand Prix harmed their championship chances.
“That change occurred after the German Grand Prix, when the tyre belt changed from being metallic to being made of Kevlar,” said Tombazis. “However, it would be somewhat superficial to blame the tyres as the only reason for our decrease in performance.”
Tombazis said Ferrari had taken “development steps that were not as strong and didn’t work”. Ferrari have been using the Toyota wind tunnel in Cologne, Germany while their tunnel is undergoing improvements.
“Wind tunnel technology has been a weak point for us, compared to our competitors,” he said. “We had some problems with our flow quality so it was not as uniform as it should be and we could not run as big a model as we would have liked.”
“Our data and instrumentation was quite outdated so we couldn?óÔé¼Ôäót do that many runs and experiments per day, which was a bit of a drawback. The past months we spent updating it have addressed all these problems.”
Tombazis believes Ferrari will be able to keep up with their rivals’ pace of development in the future: “I am optimistic that, on this front, when we are fully up and running we will not be in deficit to our competitors.”
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Image ?é?® Ferrari/Ercole Colombo