JUNE 14, 2005
Ferrari to switch focus to 2006?
The miserable season for Ferrari has been such that the team is now looking at abandoning development of the troublesome F2005 and getting down to business with the F2006. Technical director Ross Brawn says that the team will be making an earlier than normal start on the design of next year's car, because the new V8 regulation is going to mean some fundamental changes on the chassis. The team intends to run a development was with a V8 engine later this summer but that will be an existing chassis which has been converted to accommodate the smaller engine. For 2006 however the car will be ready early, probably in January, so that testing can reveal any problems and the team can get on with fixing them.
The big question is what that will do to the development of the F2005 as there is no real possibility that the car will win the title. There might have been an argument for a complete revamp for the midseason but the late appearance of the new car meant that it was too late to make a decision for a complete redesign to appear in midseason and thus there is a point at which the team will need to write-off this year and go for gold in 2006.
The Ferrari has struggled all year with the Bridgestone tyres and, despite doing much more testing than the other teams, Ferrari has not really made much of an improvement. The second and third places in Montreal were decidedly flattering results.
"We're trying things to see if we can get a quicker lap from the tyres," said Brawn. "I wouldn't say we've made any great progress. But that's something we're having to deal with Bridgestone, and something which will take a little bit of time to reach fruition. It's the preparation of the tyre, the set-up of the car to use them on that first lap, and so on and so on. We've not made huge progress, but there's a lot of work going on."
The team's chief designer Rory Byrne is now trying to find some modifications to gain first-lap performance from the tyres."
Brawn made the point that the current car is the work of Byrne's deputy Aldo Costa.
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