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Ferrari willing to take risks in development race
Ferrari technical director Pat Fry is willing to take risks to try to boost Fernando Alonso's chances of holding on to his slim lead in the drivers' championship over the final five races.
Ferrari appears to have fallen off the development pace of its rivals at recent races and has admitted to problems with data correlation between its wind tunnel and the track. In Singapore the team's new high-downforce rear wing did not work as expected, but Fry believes the F2012's race pace in Japan, where Felipe Massa finished second, indicates the car is only just off the pace of McLaren with four small updates set for this weekend's race in Korea.
"Our race pace was a little better than in qualifying in Japan, where we were unfortunate with Fernando and the yellow flags," Fry told Ferrari's website. "We are currently closer to McLaren but there's still a gap to Red Bull, so we need to keep working on car development.
"I think looking back at recent races, we have been bringing small updates to every race, even if we made a few small errors in Singapore, but we worked out what they were and sorted them out in time for Japan. When you have a constant drive for performance, you need to take some risks and there will be four small updates on the car in Korea, with more significant changes in the races after that.
"Overall for the last five races, we need to stay calm and ensure that everything we do counts. There's more to come, even if we have a way to go to catch up. But we are never going to give up and we'll be trying all the way to Brazil."
Fry is confident Ferrari can be competitive this weekend in Korea as Pirelli brings its two softest tyre compounds to the race.
"In Korea we will be running Pirelli's soft and super-soft tyres, with which we have usually been successful in finding a good balance on the car," he said. "So we can expect to have another good race, although how competitive we are will depend on how each team has progressed with the development of its car.
"One also has to factor in the way some circuits are better suited to certain cars than others. Throughout this season, no real pattern has emerged to help predict who will be quick where: recently McLaren put together a string of three very strong races, but in Suzuka, we were a match for them, while Red Bull always seem to go well in Japan."