Pat Fry: I’m not going to be happy until we are clearly quickest

13 February, 2013

Pat Fry speaks about the Ferrari F138

Pat Fry

As technical director of Ferrari, Pat Fry has arguably the most pressurised job in Formula 1 as he is expected to deliver a car that this year will give Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa a chance to compete for the title from the outset of the season, as opposed to playing catch-up all year in the ‘complex’ F2012 they used last year. Fry spoke about the team’s 2013 challenger – the Ferrari F138.

Felipe Massa Ferrari F138

Felipe Massa Ferrari F138

Fry is also responsible for the technical staffing revolution that has taken place at Maranello over the past couple of years, not only to develop the current car but also to tackle the 2014 new turbo era project.

He revealed, “Among the changes made to our structure has been the appointment of two Deputy Chief Designers. With some big changes coming through it’s a better way to organise ourselves, when we need to run two concurrent car projects. This year’s car is more of an evolution than a revolution, based on similar concepts to the F2012 and in all the little areas of performance where we think we can gain something, we have looked for those gains. The car has changed in subtle ways, some areas more than others, but in general, the F138 is a development of last year’s car.”

Fry concedes that the fact that Ferrari fought tooth and nail until the very last lap of final race of the 2012 season impacted on the F138, “I think that is something that all the top teams will say. In a way we were fortunate that we had already made the previously mentioned changes to our structure, as we were able to keep pushing on with last year’s car, while still being in reasonable shape for developing this year’s one. The biggest challenge was the aerodynamic side of things, as we started maybe three months later than is normal. We have quite a lot of catching up to do: we will have some new parts for the second test and then another big upgrade for the third and final one, so lots of changes coming through.”

Ferrari F138

Ferrari F138

The Ferrari technical boss explains the thinking behind the creation of two departments within the team, to tackle the vastly different technical aspects of the 2014 specification car, “The fact that the 2014 car will be very different – aerodynamically the exhaust effect is changed with the turbo and exhaust positions being different, the front wing development will be new, while the rear wing constitutes another major change – means that a lot of our 2013 work will not carry over, which will put an increased work load on aero departments and the design department as well.”

“However, I think the design side is working very well with the changes we made, working in conjunction with the power unit team. Having said that, there’s a huge amount of work to do on both car projects and we have to get to work early on the 2014 car to be in a good position,” admitted Fry

The fact that Alonso came so close to winning the title, in a car which more often than not was way down the pecking order, was in the Spaniard’s own words a ‘miracle’ but augers well for the team should the F138 be a title contender from the first race in Melbourne.

Ferrari F138

Ferrari F138

Fry explains how the Italian team are leaving no stone unturned in their quest for success this season, “Apart from the car itself, you have to go after every last little bit of performance. We have reviewed all last year’s races, to see what we did right and what we did wrong, in terms of strategy and we need to learn from that. We are trying to improve our pit stops still further and we have made some changes in that area. Hopefully we can gain another couple of tenths off our pit stop time. On average, we were consistently the best in this area last year, but you cannot afford to stand still, otherwise you find yourself dropping behind: we need to catch up to the level of teams that were quicker in pure speed terms even if they had more problems at their pit stops. We could say we were lucky at times last year on the reliability front, but you make your own luck and it reflects on the amount of work done back here at the factory: we must continue to work to be as good or even better on this front this year.”

Is Fry pleased with the F138? The Englishman deliberated long and hard before answering: “In the last eighteen months to two years we have made major changes to our methodology and we are partway through a process and I am pleased with the progress we have made so far. But for me, our progress can never be quick enough and I feel we still have quite a lot to do to improve. I am never going to be happy unless we arrive in Melbourne and prove to have the quickest car. In terms of the launch car, we have done a good job on the mechanical installation and the design, we have hit all our stiffness targets and saved a lot of weight. However, we cannot hide the fact that, aerodynamically, the launch car is a long way behind where we are in the wind tunnel today. We will have a better idea of what our true performance level is come the third test but I’m not going to be happy until we are clearly quickest.”

 


  • fools

    I can feel the thirsty haters awaiting for the 1st official Alonso article to be posted.

    F1 seems stale without Alonso in the mix. You look at all the RB articles and or Vettel articles or any article (except for Ferrari articles) No one talks about them or comments..if any..its rare.

    When Yalla posts an Alonso article…10 plus comments in 10 minutes. lol…go figure. :)

    That just goes to show how much the haters and actually fans love him. They cant hate the guy…Alonso is to good of a racer.

    As for this article…it seems like the same stuff I read last week..COLD TEA…. Pats goal should always be the headline of this article until he helps win a WDC for Alonso.

  • Lol

    Yours was the only comment so far and I am only commenting about your post being very wrong. So yeah, so many people care about Alonso articles clearly.

  • Butterfly

    @Lol:

    He’s right, man. It’s called mindshare – when you’re living for free on everybody’s mind, especially your competitors.

    Kind of like Nadal does to that Swiss player (forgot his name).

    Funny, it looks like these Spaniards are tough as nails.

  • Ankit

    @fools
    You totally spoke my mind bro. I’ve had this thought for over a while now. I can always see 10+ comments on an Alonso .or Ferrari article. But never the same .response for anybody else. Just goes to show how much everybody cares about what’s going on with Alonso or Ferrari. Nobody can ignore them. That’s the kind of calibre they carry:D

  • Forza Ferrari

    That’s good to hear Pat, that you won’t be happy until Ferrari is clearly the fastest! That’s the Ferrari spirit. Never stop pushing!

    Forza Ferrari!!!

  • AlonsoFan

    @butterfly good one “swiss player (forgot his name) ” LOL :)

    Had the name Alonso popped up in the article alot of trolls would have made it worth it.

  • Mark

    then I guess the team has to keep working coz during the first test week, Ferrari definitely isn’t the fastest. Going 1:17+ isn’t fast enough compared to the 1:18+ made by red bull on a hard tire.

  • Butterfly

    Mark:

    I don’t know, Mark, Rosberg said the Ferrari look pretty damn quick on the third day. He even said that Ferrari fixed what was wrong on the launch spec.

    Red Bull should be worried. Fernando must not get his hands on a good car or else it’s game over for The Vettel(TM).

  • quattro

    To be frank, I do not care if Ferrari has the fastest car. I do not either expect (at all) Ferrari to have the fastest package at season start, because we know from last season that Mclaren and RB have the fastest baseline, and there are very few rule changes to this year.

    What I am hoping for, on the other hand, is for Ferrari to (finally) give ALO a package that is at par with the one VET et al has at their disposal. I think given history, we know that even if ALO has a package that is 1-3 tenths down on “the others” he can make up for the difference and beat them.
    Remember, they have the fastest car – we have the best team and driver ;)

  • Forza Ferrari

    @Mark

    Don’t forget that Alonso doesn’t need to have the overall fastest car to win. All that Ferrari has to do is give Alonso a car that would be equally fast with the RB/Macca and then Alonso will win easily (barring any unfortunate accidents, like last year in Spa).

  • Alonso_is_slow

    Alonso cannot win without the fastest car. Proven.

  • quattro

    @Alonso_is_slow

    You are so sweet and rational as always :)

    I agree this time with your “point”. It is proven, beyond doubt, that even ALO cannot win without a fast car, when Renault driven cars take turns at taking him out from behind.

    When that happens VET will win the title, using the dominantly faster car, and he does than the the impressive amount of THREE whole points. Really tells you what impressive stuff that VET can do with a dominant package :)

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