APRIL 14, 2022
Ferrari extends Rory Byrne's F1 contract
David Coulthard has compared Charles Leclerc's stellar start to the 2022 season with his own Michael Schumacher-dominated era.
"I had a little bit of a shiver actually, a flashback," the Scot laughed after Melbourne, where the top Ferrari driver opened up his early championship lead to 34 points over George Russell.
Fellow former F1 driver Marc Surer also sees the hand of great Ferrari designer Rory Byrne, whose consultancy contract has just been extended.
"The extension of the contract sounds like a huge thank you," Surer told Auto Bild.
"Byrne seems to have done a super job in his role. The Ferrari this year has similar characteristics to the Schumacher Ferraris - fast everywhere and in all conditions, great traction and always getting the best from the tyres.
"That is clearly Byrne's signature," he added.
F1 legend Gerhard Berger thinks Byrne's influence may have helped Ferrari to minimise the downsides of the ground effect 'porpoising' that has caught out many other teams.
"In his own way, Byrne is just as much a genius as Newey," he said.
"Even in the 80s we had big problems with the so-called bouncing, the extreme hopping of the cars on the straight.
"Byrne is a guarantee that Ferrari will remain at the top level throughout the season," concluded Berger.