Ferrari undecided on front wing choice
|By Peter Farkas||Friday, July 30th 2010, 08:07 GMT|
Ferrari is undecided on whether to use its latest specification front wing for this weekend's Hungarian Grand Prix - just a week on from a row over possible flexing of the design.
Photographs of the front wings of the Ferrari and Red Bull Racing cars taken at the German GP suggested that the wings were flexing at high speed - helping the endplates get closer to the ground to provide extra downforce.
McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh revealed he spoke to Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali to express his concerns about the matter, but the FIA gave the wings the all-clear following post-race inspections.
But despite the wings getting the thumbs up from the FIA, Ferrari chief engineer Chris Dyer told local journalists at the Hungaroring that his team may not run it this weekend.
"We certainly had the same front wing in Silverstone and Hockenheim," said Dyer. "What people noticed and when people noticed I'm not really sure. The front wing for Silverstone was a new development for the car, but it's only another small step.
"In fact you will see in practice that it's not even decided yet whether we will use this front wing here, because different parts of the car have different characteristics, and what was good at Silverstone or Hockenheim is not necessarily good for here.
"So one of the programmes we will be working on is looking at some different front wing options, and we will see what we will end up using."
Dyer said that although rival teams suspected the wing was flexing, he made it clear that the design passed all the FIA deflection tests.
"Everything flexes," he said. "Nothing is infinitely rigid, but all those aeros are pretty tightly controlled by the regulations. There are quite a number of tests and rules and regulations that we have to comply with."
Although the new Ferrari front wing has been viewed by some as one of the keys to its recent step forward in performance, Dyer was adamant that its progress was down to a wide range of developments.
"The car has improved in many ways," he said. "Technology like the F-duct or the blown diffuser, they're quite big and quite obvious, so people talk about them. But the improvement in performance we have been able to make is not down to one piece of technology.
"We've introduced the blown diffuser which has given us a small improvement in performance, but at the same time we have introduced a lot of other things, like a new front wing at Silverstone, and we had another version of the floor for Germany.
"It's very rare nowadays that there's one thing you put on the car and it gives you a big jump in performance. Sometimes there's an obvious thing you bolt on the car, and there are three or four things that are less obvious but they all contribute the same amount."
Dyer also believed that the success enjoyed by the team at Hockenheim was not going to be a one-off.
"We are expecting a good performance here," he said. "We felt that perhaps Hockenheim was a track that was better suited to our car than Silverstone. Here I think we should be in a similar situation, much closer to the one in Hockenheim than to the situation in Silverstone.
"So yes, we are expecting to be competitive this weekend, and we're expecting to be fighting for the podium, fighting for the win. Having said that, Formula 1 is full of surprises, so ask me again on Sunday night, and I will be able to give you a more accurate answer!"