Tuesday, August 7, 2012


Scuderia Ferrari and the other F1 teams are now on the two week 'summer break'. It’s an appropriate time to take a breather after the first part of the season, which was run flat out on what was a rollercoaster ride. And once it restarts, there will be a packed schedule of events all the way to the end, which comes only on 25 November in Sao Paolo, Brazil. 

There’s palpable satisfaction at having sent Fernando Alonso off on holiday with a 40 point lead in the Drivers’ championship, but the overriding sentiment is that there’s still a lot of work to do to get Felipe and Fernando to reach the goals set at the start of the year, especially as they are up against a lot of strong opposition.
As the break gets underway Scuderia Ferrari has issued this Q&A interview with the team's Technical Director Pat Fry.

Eleven races completed, time to look back at the season so far. How do you evaluate the first part of the championship? 

“Obviously, at the start, after the winter tests, we were a bit behind. I think we learned a lot in this period and used that later on. We struggled in the early races: I remember that in Melbourne we were around a second and a half behind the best. We then put in a huge effort, in the wind tunnel, the production department and at the design stages. The entire workforce reacted to the challenge we faced. In my opinion, we have overtaken a large part of the other teams in terms of development over the season: we staged a good recovery, but there is still a long way to go.” 

In Budapest, Fernando spoke of a slight lack of development over the last few races. Can you explain more precisely what he meant by that? 

“It’s true we had a handful of parts that did not work the way we had expected: there’s always a chance that can happen in work like this. The positive aspect is that we understood the problem and everything is alright now: that way, we can use this experience to move forward rather than being left confused about it. In fact, we have a clear idea on the direction we need to take and we have already begun to work in this direction.” 

Does that mean these problems should be fixed in a short space of time? 

“Yes I think that when one tries to get to the limit, one definitely encounters new problems. Now we have a good understanding of the situation, therefore we only need to modify our development criteria and continue to push.” 

There are no F1 races in August. What will happen from today until the race at Spa?

“We were all here this week and we tried to do as much as possible. We have developed a few small parts for Spa in the wind tunnel, while also concentrating on other updates for Singapore. This has been a very tiring week, but now we have two weeks holiday and that will certainly see us come back revived. Then we will be back, giving it our all immediately after the break.” 

Personally, what will you be doing during the two week break, when you are not at work? 

“I will go home to England to spend some time with my family. It will be nice to have more than two days in a row to spend with my two children.” 

You won’t be able to do any actual work, but do you think you’ll manage to switch off, without thinking about Formula 1, or will work always be in the back of your mind? 

“I’ll try and do my best not to think about Formula 1 and concentrate on spending time with the family.” 

Do you reckon you will manage to recharge your batteries? 

“Yes definitely! The last four, five months have been very tough for all of us in the Scuderia. So I think it’s right that we have a break so everyone can recover and then we will have to come back pushing as hard as we have been doing all the way to the end of the season.” 

When we come back, we tackle the last two races in Europe, at Spa and Monza, which are very different to the previous ones. How do you see the situation in these two races? 

“We have a few interesting developments that we will introduce at Spa, a track which, from an aerodynamic downforce point of view, is quite special, as indeed is Monza. In fact, we will also have an aerodynamic and engine package specifically suited to the Italian track. Therefore a lot of work has been done, but there is still also a lot to do: we must continue to keep up the pressure to a high level.”

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//PART 2