Felipe Massa: “It’s just the beginning of a big job…”

Felipe Massa says that Ferrari has put an extra focus on data gathering over the first two days of the Jerez test, given that the concept of the F2012 is such a big departure.

At times the car didn’t look comfortable on the track – leading some in the paddock to speculate that the Italian team is already up against it – but the Brazilian insists that the busy test programme has compromised any meaningful running.

“Actually it’s a lot of work, it’s a brand new car,” said Massa. “It’s not the car we had in the last years, even to start with, so it’s a car that needs a lot more, you need a lot more things to try as well. Today I did so many laps just trying such different things in the car, constant speed for aerodynamics.

“It was a programme to really understand every single point from the car in aerodynamics, in suspension, even in the set-up, on the chassis point of view, even on the tyres as well. I think it was so many things to do which was not the case in the past, even on the first day. So it was a day that we were so much concentrating on the little stuff, all the pieces that we need to understand.

“We have so many ideas, by trying out these different directions, different pieces, which was not the case in the past. At least it is important to understand every single thing from the car, and to try to build a complete package.

“In a new car you always have something you don’t see the result you expect, and some other parts you have even a different direction, so a new car is always like that. It’s just the beginning of a big job to have a consistent and competitive car.”

When it was suggested that the car looked difficult to drive, Massa said: “It’s a lot of work. As I said, we tried so many different things with the car, so many runs we go out with not everything in the car to do the lap time, just to collect data. It’s different than in the past, the programme is different, and it’s also more complicated for us because we tried so many things just looking for the performance of a piece in the car that we’re trying.”

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One response to “Felipe Massa: “It’s just the beginning of a big job…”

  1. Stone the crows

    Ferrari seems to be in a bit of a situation. It appears that their concept is so radical that they have some initial problems in understanding it. These early tests are not about the pursuit of performance, but are meant to establish the baseline. Ferrari seems to have a problem doing that. They have so many parameters to play with they are still far from where they thought they were going to be. It remains to be seen if the reason is that they simply need more time to understand the design and find the sweet spot for their baseline setup, or that there is a fundamental flaw in their basic design concept. From what I understand, Ferrari are not ruling out any possibility. If it’s the former, then Ferrari should be in good condition, because apparently such a radical design offers more scope and opportunity for development. If they have managed to create a solid baseline design, then they can follow development paths that other teams will not be able to, because they don’t have them hard-coded in their original design. If, however, it’s a basic fundamental flaw, then Ferrari will have a lot of re-working and explaining to do..

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