Ferrari to tweak floor design – Marc Gene
Team test driver Marc Gene has played down the impact that the FIA’s
new clamp-down on flexible floors will have on Ferrari’s pace at the
upcoming Spanish grand prix.
The Spaniard said Maranello based engineers had to slightly modify the
under-body of the F2007 single seater following the first rule
clarification earlier in 2007, which was sparked by the informal
complaint of rival team McLaren.
But "our car has been legal all season," Gene, 33, is quoted as saying
by the newspaper Diario As.
"We made some adjustments to pass the test and it made no difference to
our lap times.
"I see this as an issue that affects all teams, not just us. Our floor
moves only so it doesn’t break in the event of an impact."
Gene explained that he thought the renewed flexibility tests, to
quadruple the load applied by the governing body’s scrutineers, would
require another tweak for the existing design.
Ferrari aim for three-tenth step in Spain
Ferrari aim to counter any step forward by McLaren at the upcoming
Spanish grand prix by improving by as much as two or three tenths per
That is the revelation of Marc Gene, who is an active test driver for
the Maranello based team.
"We will also race in Barcelona with important aerodynamic
modifications," the 33-year-old, fresh from victory in a recent sports
car race at Monza, told the newspaper Marca on Thursday.
"It will be our first major update of the year, and we want it to
deliver between two and three tenths."
Spaniard Gene said Ferrari’s F2007 had been specifically designed to
allow for unproblematic and genuine developments.
Explaining that the car’s update will be tested at Barcelona next week,
he added: "We knew that there were many ways in which we could improve
Two to three tenths? That’s not much, when you also consider McLaren are working very hard right now. Their test driver Gary Paffett will be doing a private test in the MP4/22 in
Menorca (its in Spain, whats the point making it private, you know they want all the publicity they can get LOL). McLaren badly want to beat Ferrari now and they know they can do it, they got what they wanted from the floor board ‘query’. What more, how great would it be for Ron Dennis’ team sponsors if they won in Spain? Hamilton most definatly won’t win in Spain as long as Fernando is up there with him.
For Kimi, he and Ferrari have to make sure that doesn’t happen. The points in the championship are crucial right now, as there are 3 title contenders leading it. McLaren are only going to get better, so, this year its make or break for Kimi. He must win the world championship. There’s nothing for it. Come on Kimi!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! In the words of Samwise Gamgee: "Don’t you let go!"
Former world champion Nelson Piquet believes Felipe Massa is the
favourite of the Ferrari drivers to win this year’s championship.
Massa is currently five points behind teammate Kimi Raikkonen after
the first three races of the season, but the Brazilian has showed
better speed than the Finn in qualifying, something that Piquet
reckons makes Massa the favourite.
Massa and Raikkonen have won one race each, but Massa has been on
pole in the last two races, with the Finn admitting he must improve his
qualifying form if he wants to fight for race wins all the time.
"Before the start of the championship I didn’t know what the
difference in speed was going to be between Massa and Raikkonen,"
Piquet told Autosprint magazine.
"Now I have no doubt: despite being behind in the points, Felipe Massa is the favourite for a very logical reason.
"It’s simply that Massa is always faster in qualifying than
Raikkonen, and nowadays GPs are won at the first corner. The tyres are
the same, you don’t have a day when the Michelins are better anymore,
cars don’t break down, and overtaking is almost impossible.
"So, when does a driver build a win by doing 90% of the job? It’s at
the start and at the first corner. With Massa more efficient in
qualifying, I don’t see how Raikkonen can beat him. If Ferrari
maintains the current technical advantage, obviously the fight will be
between Massa and Raikkonen.
"The GPs and the championship will be won on Saturdays and Raikkonen
at the moment has shown to be unable to reach Massa’s levels of speed.
It looks to me like a rather simple situation," the three-time champion
Piquet also believes Massa has all the ingredients to be champion this year.
"It doesn’t happen often for a driver to have a car as dominant as the Ferrari is at the moment," Piquet added.
"Massa must keep on doing what he’s doing. He has the talent and the
strength to end up the winner, he’s certainly not another Rubens
Barrichello. We are talking about drivers, personalities and characters
Despite Ferrari’s strong start to the season, Piquet reckons their
current line-up is no match for Michael Schumacher, who retired from
the sport at the end of last season.
"Neither Massa nor Raikkonen are worth a Micheal Schumacher, even
though the latter made a lot of mistakes in his last two years. Today
the only driver in F1 that never makes mistakes and that makes the most
of every chance is Fernando Alonso, but Massa is technically in the
position to beat him.
"Everyone talks about Massa’s past mistakes, but why doesn’t anyone remember the ones made by Raikkonen at McLaren?"
We shall see…
Ferrari looking to improve Kimi’s car
Ferrari’s technical director Mario Almondo
confessed the team were working on improving Kimi Räikkönen’s car in
time for the Spanish Grand Prix.
The Finnish driver had complained of a lack of performance in the
opening lap of the last race in Bahrain, which prevented him from
battling with Fernando Alonso.
"We can’t talk about a specific problem but an optimisation that has to
be done on the first lap and in handling the car," said Almondo.
"His (Räikkönen’s) driving style is something that we are evolving in
the direction of better performance and use of the car and the package
of the car plus the tyres and this, as I said, is a normal and natural
process that takes more time,” he explained.
"The only thing that we can do is work as hard as we can with our
development programme. There will be an important aero package and a
few other things. We have an aerodynamic test at Vairano and then in
Barcelona before the race.
Almondo, who has taken over the reigns from Ross Brawn, said it was up to rivals McLaren to keep the pressure on.
“It’s up to our competitors to do more than what we are going to do. I cannot make any prediction on what we have to do."