Ferrari's chief designer Nikolas Tombazis today saw his car debut on track with Felipe Massa in the cockpit. A since the rollout of a brand new car is always something special, Tombazis speaks on on what it feels like, and what this Ferrari really is all about.
“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.”