Ferrari ditch aggressive exhaust design for more conventional system

Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari F2012. Formula One Testing, Day 2, Barcelona, Spain, Friday 2 March 2012.
Fernando Alonso drives the Ferrari F2012 on day two of testing in Barcelona

Mar.3 (PVM) Ferrari’s technical director has pointed out that the team gambled with an aggressive approach to the design of the exhaust system on their F2012, but the concept has failed and the Maranello squad have reverted to a more conventional system.

L-R: Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari; Andrea Stella (ITA) Ferrari Race Engineer; Pat Fry (GBR), Ferrari Technical Director. Formula One World Championship, Rd 7, Canadian Grand Prix, Race, Montreal, Canada, Sunday 12 June 2011.
Pat Fry with Fernando Alonso and Andrea Stella

Technical director Pat Fry admitted: “We started off with an exhaust system configuration that was particularly aggressive, but after last week’s test, it was clear this solution still required a lot of development before it could be used in a race. We opted for a more conventional configuration. Obviously, having developed the car to suit this innovative exhaust concept, now we must re-optimise everything in just the few days left before Australia. There aren’t major differences between the two systems in terms of performance, but we really need to analyse everything in detail.”

The team nevertheless remained optimistic after two days of testing in Barcelona, stating: “Over a thousand kilometres in two days. As far as reliability is concerned, the final test prior to setting off for Australia, has got off on the right foot for Scuderia Ferrari, with the F2012 going over the 100 lap mark on the opening two days. Felipe Massa did 105 laps yesterday and Fernando Alonso added a further 125 today. The Spaniard also managed to complete a Grand Prix simulation, including pit stops.”

Ferrari are keeping the F2012 rear-end covered as much as possible in Barcelona
Ferrari are keeping the F2012 rear-end covered as much as possible in Barcelona

Fry revealed:
“We ran a mix of used softs and mediums for the simulation and now we must analyse the data in detail to understand where we are compared to the others,” the technical director admitted when he met journalists at the end of Friday’s session.

“Initial impressions suggest the difference between one stint and another can be put down to the normal difference between tyres that have done different mileages: some show significant degradation, others less,” said the Englishman.

A few aerodynamic updates, mainly to the front wing, were evaluated over the course of Friday, comparing them to previous versions.

Fry continued,
“There will be other new components coming on the car for the final two days and then we will try and put together the best from every configuration for the first race.”

“I think we can say we are in reasonable shape. Sure, you always try and be half a second quicker than everyone, knowing you are lapping constantly with 60 kilos of fuel on board. Clearly, we have a lot of work ahead of us, but all we can do is keep pushing on this front,” concluded Ferrari’s technical boss.

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