Ferrari is planning to line up in 2016 with a "completely different car and engine". That was the claim made by president Sergio Marchionne as he visited the Monza paddock last weekend. Many were surprised when they heard those words, as the regulations are not changing considerably for 2016, ahead of the expected rules revolution for 2017.
So with Ferrari already closing the gap on dominant Mercedes, might Marchionne have been stretching the truth? It seems not. Indeed, while Mercedes deployed all 7 remaining engine development 'tokens' ahead of Monza, Ferrari's upgrade cost them only 3. "We believe that Ferrari now has the peculiarity of our system that you call the 'magic button'," said Mercedes' Toto Wolff, referring to a power boost that is most often seen in qualifying.
Next, the remaining 4 tokens will be deployed by Ferrari later this year, and will pave the way for an engine architecture change that will also fundamentally shape the design of the 2016 car, Italy's Autosprint claims. Team boss Maurizio Arrivabene commented: "We must also think about the work of the aerodynamicists."
"Today they have difficulties to continue their development programme because of the dimensions of the power unit. If you look at a photograph taken from above, you can easily see that our car has a wider rear end than the competition," he added. (GMM)
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing