Failure of the Ferrari F2012 causing a revolution at the Maranello factory

Ferrari team photo in Shanghai

Ferrari team photo in Shanghai

Apr.13 (F1 Media) Speaking on the opening day of the Chinese Grand Prix weekend in Shanghai, Ferrari technical director Pat Fry said that an overhaul at Maranello is currently underway and targeting more than simply fixing early season problems with the F2012.

Pat Fry (GBR) Ferrari in the FIA Press Conference. Formula One World Championship, Rd3, Chinese Grand Prix Practice, Shanghai, China, Friday 13 April 2012.

Pat Fry during the FIA press conference in Shanghai

In a characteristically honest appraisal of his teams’ pace, Fry, speaking in the FIA Friday press conference, said he expected his team to be qualifying between seventh and eleventh and that while many of their problems with the current car are now understood, the gap between understanding and rectifying a problem can be a large one. The former McLaren engineer also explained that his new team were less interested in quick fixes than they were in changing the way Maranello functions in the long term.

“It’s not just a case of us trying to build a quicker car, we need to fundamentally be changing the methodologies that we use to select, design and manufacture so that we are competitive long term,” he said. “There’s work on all fronts, not just work going into what we’re taking to Barcelona (where Ferrari are expected to bring a big upgrade) there’s also a huge amount of work in just trying to change the fundamentals of what we do so we can actually take a step forward and be competing with everyone else.”

Ferrari pit board. Formula One World Championship, Rd3, Chinese Grand Prix Practice, Shanghai, China, Friday 13 April 2012.

Ferrari pit board in Shanghai

Fry unsurprisingly identified aerodynamics as the area most in need of attention. “We’ve got some issues there that we’re trying to resolve,” he confirmed. “The areas you need to be working on is everything from the way you run the wind tunnel, the accuracy of your wind tunnel, the simulation that you use to decide what components to take forward, so we’re not leaving any stone unturned.

“We’re actually trying to review and revise our methodologies through the whole process and that carries on into the design office for trying to get weight out of various parts, make other bits more durable, so there’s work going on absolutely everywhere within the company, on the basic fundamental methodology as well as just trying to upgrade the car.” Ferrari occupied 11th and 12th positions in FP1, and 10th and 17th in FP2.

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  • Butterfly

    Well, coming from Pat Fry I would say that’s not BS, it’s really happening.

    I remember Aldo Costa saying at the end of 2010 something similar, but, of course, he was lying his face off.

    Better late than never. Forza Ferrari!

  • jimmy

    Butterfly, agree. I think Pat is a real asset to the team despite the results.

  • Stablo

    Pat excelled at McLaren and we know how successful they are. Now that Schu’s guys are no longer at Ferrari we can see the real Ferrari. Pat has a big challenge ahead of him!

  • joeyt2k6

    Ferrari needs to change their culture and highly successful philosophy (ingrained by Don Enzo) that winning in F1 is due to powerful, fast and reliable engine. To date, aerodynamics is and never was the strength of Ferrari even back during the Schumi/Todt/Brawn era.

    Now that the FIA has placed more emphasis in aerodynamic design, producing cars that could fly rather than run on ground, Ferrari’s philosophy and methodology has become outdated if not obsolete. Unless they hire new technical people capable of stretching the cars design limits, Ferrari will always lag behind the other teams.

    If not for Alonso who’s been pulling the horse race on race, Ferrari would be a back marker. Anyhow, maybe this is what they want so that their wins could be all the more sweeter, but this is ridiculous, especially for their fans. Wake up Ferrari! You’ve been sleeping the past 5 years.

  • Colin

    Pat Fry was one of a team at McLaren but he’s one on his own at Ferrari. Some said he would suffer without the legendary McLaren infrastructure and that’s obvious. All he can do is copy a McLaren structure but let’s face it, copying is wrong and will never get you to the front. Ferrari should know that and get rid of Fry ASAP and use Italian blood.

  • Butterfly

    @Colin:

    Italian blood? You mean like Aldo Costa?

    Let’s face it, a bit of British engineering is exactly what Ferrari needs, and that’s what they’ve got.

    They’re now rebuilding the infrastructure.

  • broto

    Ferrari=Ducati ..same problems..too much PIZZA in their brain and muscle

  • rottweiler

    Hey Butterfly,

    Guess where Aldo Costa is now? At Mercedes and they seem to be doing quite well. Also remember, that under Aldo Costa Ferrari had 2 close world championships. In addition, Ferrari was more competitive last year then they are this year. Also, when Pat Fry took over at Ferrari, the car was getting worse. One former non-Italian top F1 engineer has stated that getting rid of Aldo Costa was a BIG mistake. During the Schumacher years, it was often said that the most important policy was to have stability within the team. Why is that different now? Ferrari keep changing and changing and changing and no results. In fact, every time they reorganize the car gets worse and worse. The problem has nothing to do with Italian or British. This is nonsense as 70% of the teams are British and pathetic at best. What the problem is the lack of stability and the scouting of young engineering talent. Ferrari need to develop their own young aerodynamic engineering talent from the top universities. Pat Fry has no formal engineering degree, and if you look at his F1 CV, it’s really not that impressive. His most prominent position was Chief Engineer of Race Development for the MP4-20, MP4-22 and MP4-24 chassis, hardly winning cars. Please do your research before praising Pat Fry. For that reason, “Pat Fry, you’re fired!”