Ferrari’s 2012 challenge was dented by correlation problems with the old and out dated wind tunnel back in Maranello. It is now being upgraded to the same standard as the wind tunnel’s run by their challengers and it should be up and running by October this year. Aero work on their current 2013 challenger and the car for next year is currently running at Toyota’s Cologne facility, but it will be moved back home once the new wind tunnel back at the factory is completed. Chief designer at Ferrari, Nikolas Tombazis has admitted that the changeover from using Toyota’s Cologne wind tunnel to its upgraded one in Italy will have an impact on next year’s car.
When asked by AUTOSPORT if the switch will affect work on the 2014 car, Tombazis said: “Any change of wind tunnel has got some associated risks, so yes you are right.Ideally, we would already have that completed and we would be working at home with an upgraded wind tunnel in which we have complete confidence. It is not an ideal solution but, on balance, the decision we took to carry out that process was something that, if we had delayed, would just postpone the problem until later. So we thought it was paramount to do it as soon as possible.”
He added saying that, “The sooner [it was done] the better and we decided to do it not withstanding the fact that there is the 2013 and 2014 pressure. We have made no secret of the fact that we are doing a fairly important upgrade. That’s obviously putting a lot of stuff on our plate but we feel that it is something that we cannot delay. Therefore, we have this added pressure that we have to keep on top of that and we have to use an external wind tunnel while we carry out this major upgrade.”
Ferrari were one of the first in Formula One to use Wind Tunnel technology and many other teams were only much later able to afford such an important tool. This has meant that the facility at Maranello is quite out dated when compared to the competition. Tombazis referred to the same point saying that, “It’s important because our windtunnel technology has been below the high standard of some of our competitors and this work is going to bring us to that level.”