Ferrari Discover Downforce Issue with 2011 F1 Car
It's no secret for anyone that people were expecting a much stronger Ferrari car at Melbourne, based on the 150 Italia's performances in pre-season testing. However, neither Fernando Alonso, nor Felipe Massa managed to keep the pace with the Red Bulls and McLarens in qualifying or race last weekend.
Many pundits pointed at the car's inability to get the tires up to temperature, and apparently that's not far from the truth. However, that issue is caused by too little front downforce, which affects the tires behavior and, consequently, the balance of the car.
“We need to understand why we did not see on the track what we could see on paper,” Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali was quoted as saying to La Stampa newspaper. “But we must be realistic that if Red Bull confirm their pace, the gap cannot be recovered in Malaysia,” he warned.
According to Spanish engineer Joan Villadelprat, a common voice within Formula 1 in recent years, the Scuderia is now paying the price for their conservativeness when building the 2011-spec challenger.
“They have a lot less downforce than Red Bull because they built a car that is too conservative with no risk. However, Ferrari knows how to develop and the base is good and reliable,” he pointed out.