With the 2022 Formula 1 season, complete with revolutionary new cars, almost upon us, we’re looking at the two key questions facing every team. Next on the list: Ferrari.
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Will Ferrari shake off its checkered ‘new regulation’ history?
Two of F1’s biggest regulation revisions in recent years, namely 2009 and 2014, did not improve for Ferrari.
In 2009, fresh from winning the 2008 constructors’ championship and agonizingly close in the drivers’ championship, F1’s move to ‘thin’ aerodynamic rules for 2009 seemed to surprise Ferrari.
The F60 failed to achieve a top-10 finish in its first three races, and would go on to win just once that year, compared to its predecessor’s eight wins, although Felipe Massa’s horrific crash in Hungary and ice cream-flavoured tedium of Kimi Raikkonen, did not help at all.
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Ferrari would finish fourth in the constructors’ category in 2009, a final position they equaled in 2014, when F1 switched to V6 turbo-hybrid power units and Ferrari produced the uncompetitive F14 T, the first Prancing Horse not to win a race since 1993.
That was despite Ferrari boasting a top-notch technical team, with the likes of James Allison, Rory Byrne and Pat Fry, and a champion driver pairing of Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso.
Now, there is no doubt that Ferrari has been steadily improving since its low point in 2020, and there is a tangible mood of positivity at Maranello. But Ferrari’s false dawns are not unheard of, and after a strong finish to 2021, the Scuderia hopes there will be no signs of regression when the rules drastically change for 2022.
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Can the Scuderia get back to its 2019 form?
However, let’s be positive for a minute. Yes, Ferrari made a profit in 2021. But more importantly, those gains were largely linked to advances in the power unit, advances that may also take place in 2022. That’s a rock solid for the Scuderia build your house in the shape of 2022. .
Singapore 2019 was the last time a Ferrari took victory in Formula 1, the team enjoying a ‘post-summer break’ purple patch that year which saw them take six pole positions in a row and win three races. Getting back to that level of performance, of the red cars showing up on a race weekend and being counted among the favourites, is where Ferrari would love to find itself in 2022.
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The power unit gains have been reflected in infrastructure improvements at Maranello, with the team’s state-of-the-art simulator now online and ready to help Ferrari develop its new car.
Add to that a driver line-up of Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc that team principal Mattia Binotto has, with some reason, called the best in the business, and the hope is that, after a rough couple of years, Ferrari will finally be, correctly. , back.
Let’s see where those red cars are, launching on February 17, when we get to Bahrain for the inaugural Grand Prix on March 20, eh?