Less than a month from the start of pre-season testing, Ferrari engineers are allegedly unhappy with the wind tunnel data generated by the Scuderia’s 2020 car according to various reports.
Famed Ferrari insider, Italian journalist Leo Turrini, recently claimed that the 2020 aero numbers linked to the Italian outfit’s latest design aren’t lining up in Maranello.
“It seems to me that, so far, the indications from the simulator and the wind tunnel have not impressed the engineers,” Turrini wrote in his blog.
But Ferrari’s alleged concerns were then echoed this week in a report from Germany’s Auto Bild, which states that the new car’s aero data is “worse than expected”, generating fears that the Scuderia could find itself at a disadvantage at the outset when the season gets underway.
Ferrari’s 2019 charger, the SF90H, was a low-downforce concept that was blindingly fast on the straights but slower in the corners relative to its Mercedes and Red Bull rivals.
The team’s results markedly improved however after the summer break when Ferrari added drag to the car and reaped the benefits of its significant engine gains, a change that delivered three wins to the red squad.
In its quest for downforce for 2020, it appears that the Scuderia’s engineers may have followed the concept exploited by Red Bull last year, subsequently designing a car with a very aggressive amount of rake, an approach however that leaves little margin for error aerodynamically.
Ferrari is set to unveil its 2020 car on February 11, a week before the start of pre-season testing in Barcelona. Teams will have just six days – two three-day tests – to tweak and fine-tune their contenders at the Circuit de Catalunya.
If Ferrari is indeed struggling with an aero flaw, the team could be scrambling in Barcelona to revise its package for the second three-day test.
One will recall that last year, Mercedes was unimpressive in the first four days of testing and fielded a heavily modified and improved W10 in the second week.
There is therefore hope that Ferrari can turn around its fortunes if it has indeed gone down the wrong aero path. But then again, perhaps its just stocking up on sandbags for the odd smoke and mirrors game.