The Ferrari F2012 gave the team cause for alarm during testing as they found they were several seconds off the pace of their rivals.
Changes were made to the car in time for the start to the season but even so Ferrari found themselves mired in the midfield.
It wasn’t until after the opening four ‘flyaway’ races had past that the team was able to right some of the car’s biggest problems. A significant step was made at round five in Spain and further upgrades over the following races resulted in a car that could compete for wins despite lacking outright pace in qualifying.
Fernando Alonso worked wonders with what little he had, claiming an opportunistic win in the second race of the season in Malaysia. The F2012 proved a useful tool in wet conditions, which also helped him take pole position at Silverstone and Hockenheim, producing a win and a second place.
It was a reliable car too, and that helped him clinch victory in Valencia when rival Sebastian Vettel dropped out.
Problems with their wind tunnel impeded Ferrari’s attempts to make further progress with the car and at the end of the season they still languished behind Red Bull and McLaren on pure pace. Even so Alonso remained in the hunt for the drivers’ title until the last lap of the season, and the team salvaged second place in the constructors’ championship – two things which looked extremely unlikely when the season began.
Images ?é?® Ferrari spa/Ercole Colombo, Jamey Price/F1 Fanatic