Is it the last ‘enth of design genius that’s missing from Scuderia nowadays? Are the drivers, even the great Fernando himself, not quite eloquent enough at providing the feedback required to develop a car and move it forwards at the same pace as The Other Two Teams?
Or is it something else that’s holding Ferrari back, something unseen yet so complicated that any one outside the laboratory has no chance whatsoever of understanding what it may be? And if so, any guesses as to how such an intangible absent quality might be rectified? (Ferrari fans, feel free to defend your marque passionately, and let us in on any secrets you may be aware of at the same time).
Whatever it is that’s not quite right at Maranello, at least one must admire the new ‘open minded’ regime within the team for having the sincerity to admit there’s actually a problem. Following three days of testing at Jerez this week, technical director Pat Fry admitted to Autosport that he was ‘not happy about where we are at the moment.’
‘I think there is a lot of room for us to improve from where we are’ said Fry. ‘Reliability wise it is good. Performance wise I think we are OK…but I would not say I am happy yet until we get the whole thing working.’ Asked for what his message might be to Ferrari fans at the moment, Pat Fry said ‘We are all working very hard…’
Hmm. One could ponder the reasons behind Ferrari’s continuing woes within F1 almost endlessly, of course – and anyone who doesn’t think they’re in turmoil right now fails to understand how important being fastest is at Maranello; they are nothing less than obsessed by such qualities, and get really rather upset when they don’t occur. But I think I know precisely what’s wrong with Ferrari’s new F1 car.
One, it’s been saddled with a quite astonishingly uninventive name – the F2012 (I mean that must have taken all of 2.8 seconds to dream up, after all). Two, the car itself is an absolute munter where it counts.
The nose section and most of the bodywork just in front of the driver both look like they are made out of Lego. The whole car, in fact, has an industrial ugliness and a peculiar absence of grace to it that makes you wonder; has this car been designed by people – or more likely machines – who simply don’t understand why most of the world likes Ferraris (ie because they are generally so beautiful to look at)?