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Ferrari vows to go aggressive with car development
- Fernando Alonso
Ferrari chief designer Nikolas Tombazis says his team will adopt an "aggressive approach" to its car development over the final four races now that Fernando Alonso has fallen behind Sebastian Vettel in the drivers' championship.
Alonso dropped six points behind championship leader Vettel at the Korean Grand Prix and has not won a race since Hockenheim in July. Tombazis believes Ferrari now has no choice but to ramp up the development of the F2012.
"As we are still in the fight for the championship, we therefore have to continue with the development of the car," he told Ferrari's website. "And because we don't currently enjoy an advantage, either in terms of performance or as far as the points situation is concerned, we cannot defend, we must attack and adopt an aggressive approach to car development for these four races, bringing updates to every one of them to close the gap and fight for the wins and hopefully bring home the titles.
"Our aim is to bring, in as short a time as possible, all the developments we have tried in the wind tunnel to see how they work, confirming their performance, so that we don't encounter the same problems as before. That way, for every race, we hope to get closer to those ahead of us so that we can fight for the wins."
Tombazis said the Ferrari had improved over recent races but the team's speed of development is now "lagging behind" its rivals. He admitted that problems correlating data from the wind tunnel with the car's performance on track had hurt, but he is confident a recent straight-line test has helped the team's understanding of the car.
"One element that slowed our progress was the difficulty we encountered in the correlation with data from the wind tunnel and that from the track," Tombazis said. "The wind tunnel can only ever be a model of what things are like in reality and can never be completely real. The data we saw in the wind tunnel did not match 100% the data we were getting from the track. We had some unpleasant surprises from some of the updates we brought to the last couple of races, so immediately, we wanted to fix that and understand where it had gone wrong.
"Therefore we have had an aero test prior to heading off to India, where we ran control tests on these updates to really understand what the problem was. We got some very interesting answers which we believe will allow us to recover from those problems and so, our aim in this forthcoming Indian GP, will be to make up the ground we have lost."