Mattia Binotto says Ferrari won’t spend more time than needed this season on its 2021 car and will divert its focus early on to its 2022 design to take advantage of next year’s regulation reset.
The Scuderia’s engineers have worked over the winter to field an improved design this season after last years’ dismal campaign.
During Friday’s team presentation, Binotto expressed his confidence that Ferrari’s new SF21 had recovered “quite a lot of speed” compared to its predecessor thanks to gains achieved by Maranello’s chassis and engine departments.
But the Scuderia boss knows that the step forward won’t be enough to bridge the gap with F1’s front-runners.
Ferrari will therefore channel its resources early on towards its 2022 car, and take advantage of the extra windtunnel and CFD time allocation that it will receive as a result of its sixth-place finish in the 2020 Constructors’ standings, in accordance with F1’s new sliding-scale rules.
“Because of the windtunnel opportunity, and having some more time having finished sixth last year, our focus during 2021 will be [on] developing the 2022 car, that will be the main target,” Binotto explained on Friday.
“We will not spend much time on the ’21 [car] during the season, it is a balance, it is a choice that we need to make at some stage.”
Read also: Ferrari confident SF21 has recovered ‘quite a lot of speed’
Binotto said the development switch-over point for teams will likely depend on each outfit’s performance during the early stages of the 2021 campaign and how correlation holds up between simulator and track data.
“To see how the car is handling at the very start of the season is very important as [it is] the balance of performance we may see for the rest of the season,” he said.
“As I said we know how much we progressed in the wind tunnel but what will be important is to see the track delivery, and how it will compare behave to expectations.
“We have experienced, and we’re not the only ones, that sometimes you mismatch from the wind tunnel to the racetrack.
“I think that will be a key point for all the competitors because again, having changed the regulations from the back of the car, I think there is a work of correlation that is needed and I think that will be a key factor for the season.”
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