Testing at the Jerez circuit – Over 300 kilometres for the F2012 on its debut

Circuit: Jerez Circuit – 4,428 km
Driver: Felipe Massa
Car: Ferrari F2012
Weather: air temperature 5/18 °C, track temperature 6/26 °C. Sunny.

Maranello, 7 February – First day of testing in 2012 for Scuderia Ferrari who, with Felipe Massa at the wheel, gave the F2012 its debut.

For the full day, work centred almost exclusively on data acquisition relating to the handling of the new car: Felipe completed a total of 69 laps, the quickest in a time of 1.22.815.

Testing at this track continues tomorrow, again with the Brazilian driver at the wheel.

Tombazis: “The first day is always a special feeling”

Jerez de la Frontera, 7 February – No matter if you have seen many new cars, more than a few whose design bears your signature, the first day a Formula 1 car rolls out on track always has a special significance, however much you might be used to these sort of things. It is a universal truth and Scuderia Ferrari’s Chief Designer Nikolas Tombazis is no exception to the rule.

“It’s true that you always experience a special feeling when the car goes out on track for the first time and you cannot deny it,” said the Greek designer when he met with journalists who had gathered at the end of the first day of the Jerez test. “And today was no different to many others I have been through just like it.”

What was different was the work carried out by the team when compared to other debuts in the recent past, as Tombazis explained. “This car represents a clear break with the one that preceded it and it features concepts that are very different for us and that require much more fine tuning. That’s why today we absolutely did not have an eye on the stopwatch, preferring to concentrate on gathering as much data as possible in order to get as good an understanding as possible of the behaviour of the car. We have much to do, but all in all, there are reasons to be pleased with the three hundred kilometres that we put together with Felipe at the wheel. We had to experiment with different solutions and that will be the case for the next few days as well: it’s obvious that some delivered what was expected while others did not, but that’s the purpose of testing, getting to understand how a car behaves and how best to develop it.”

The 2012 is definitely a very different car to its predecessor and Nikolas vindicated the choices made. “We decided that the only way to make a step forward was to be much more aggressive in our approach to the design of the car. It’s true that the arrival of Pat in the role of Technical Director made a significant contribution to this change, but it was a direction our group had already initiated. It is obviously too early to say if this year we will be able to win or not, but no one will be able to accuse us of having been timid in the design of this car.”