Ferrari aims to build on the reliability of the F14 T shown at Melbourne, with the team's Chief Designer claiming that the larger scope for development is encouraging for the season.
“Our car reliability was good, as was that of the power train, not just for the Scuderia but also for our customer teams,” says the team’s Deputy Chief Designer Simone Resta, looking back at Australia. “Another positive aspect that emerged from the Melbourne weekend is that we found the F14 T performs well in terms of cornering speed. However, we also saw that we were lacking a bit of top speed, which made it difficult to overtake other cars on track.”
To prepare for the races in Malaysia and Bahrain, the first back-to-back pair of the season, the team’s first task was to review all the data from the Australian Grand Prix. In addition, back in Maranello, the engineers also carried out specific work related to the very high temperatures encountered in Malaysia. “Sepang is a very difficult track because it has many high speed corners,” continues Resta. “That means aerodynamics is a key factor as always. We can be sure of having to deal with very high temperatures so cooling and reliability will be important. Another aspect of the weekend will be adapting the car to the new tyres Pirelli has brought for this track.
“Reliability is always the most important factor for us: without a reliable car you cannot win titles,” adds Resta. If reliability is the first priority, then performance follows hot on its heels and that involves getting the car to work more efficiently. “Efficiency affects all areas of the car, starting with the engine and the power unit as a whole, where it means getting more power from the same amount of fuel,” explains Resta. “The same concept can also be applied to other areas such as aerodynamics where efficiency means finding more downforce but with less drag.” All areas of the car in fact are subject to the search for efficiency in order to deliver improved performance and Resta has a simple formula to sum up that task. “We are always looking to hit the same target for less effort.”
The F14T is still young and there is more to come from what appears to be a sound basic package. “It clearly has greater scope for development than our cars from the past few seasons, which is good news,” concludes Resta. “However, on a race weekend, we can only try and get the most out of what we have to work with at the track and in Malaysia, then in Bahrain a week later, we will keep moving forward down that path.”