Ferrari's Tombazis: We have to attack
24 October 2012 – Ferrari insists that an aggressive stance is the only way forward, with four races now remaining in the 2012 Formula 1 season. Last time out in Korea, Fernando Alonso lost his leadership of the World Championship for the first time since June.
Having begun the season in disastrous fashion for their standards, Ferrari made a significant leap ahead at the Spanish Grand Prix, where Alonso finished second on merit to the Williams of Pastor Maldonado. The campaign has then seen rivals McLaren and, most recently, Red Bull taking turns to progress rapidly.
“As we are still in the fight for the championship, we have to continue with the development of the car,” says Nikolas Tombazis, Chief Designer for Ferrari, “and because we don’t currently enjoy an advantage, either in terms of performance or as far as the points situation is concerned, we cannot defend.
“We must attack and adopt an aggressive approach to car development for these four races, bringing updates to every one of them to close the gap and fight for the wins and hopefully bring home the titles.”
With Ferrari currently using the ex-Toyota wind tunnel in Cologne, the Maranello squad is carrying out a complete overhaul of its own structure in Italy. Tombazis believes this will be key in challenging for the 2013 titles.
“We have the good fortune that the rules remain basically stable for next year, which means we can carry on developing this year’s car without compromising the 2013 one,” he explains.
“The work we do aerodynamically for this year’s car can be beneficial for both. We can work on improving the weak points on the current car which will help for next year, although the main structural elements of the 2013 car are already fixed: chassis, gearbox, mechanical layout, suspension and crash structures, with the car already in production.
“However, when it comes to its aero package, there is still plenty of work to do; as soon as we have completely wrapped up 2012 and these last four races, we will be concentrating 100 percent on the next one.”
Over the course of 16 races so far this season, Ferrari has achieved three race victories, ten podium finishes, two pole positions and three front row starts.