Ferrari will run a testing-spec car at the Formula 1 season opener, team principal Mattia Binotto blaming poor pre-season testing results for a 'significant change in direction, especially on the aerodynamic front'.
Binotto ruled Ferrari out of race winning contention in Melbourne ahead of the planned season opener, and has now revealed the team was forced to "recalibrate the whole programme" after on-track results failed to match expectations during pre-season testing in Barcelona.
"This weekend the car will run in the same configuration used towards the end of the Barcelona tests." said Binotto.
"The truth is that the outcome of the tests led us to take a significant change of direction in terms of development, especially on the aerodynamic front. First, we had to understand why we did not see the results we had expected on track and how much to recalibrate the whole programme as a result.
"It would have been counterproductive to continue in the direction we had planned, knowing that we would not have reached our goals. Therefore, we decided to come up with a new programme that looked at the whole car, knowing that not all of it would be ready for the first race."
Ferrari now plans to bring a significant upgrade package to the Hungaroring for the third race of the season, but with the teams around them bringing new parts for the first two races, the Spielberg double-header could be a bruising start to the campaign for the Scuderia.
Binotto added: "Our aim is to introduce the updates at the third race on 19 July at the Hungaroring. Apart from that, over and above the actual development of the car itself, these past few weeks we have worked a lot on analysing its behaviour, with simulation work and with the help of our drivers and I think that will prove its worth in Austria.
"We know that, at the moment, we don’t have the fastest package. We knew it before heading for Melbourne and that hasn’t changed. Having said that, the Spielberg circuit has different characteristics to Montmelo and the temperatures will be well above those of February.
"In Austria, we must try and make the most of every opportunity and then in Hungary, with the new development step we are working on, we will be able to see where we are really compared to the others, while having to take into account the developments our competitors themselves will have brought along."
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