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F1 slow-starters 'will not be screwed' - Ferrari

F1 slow-starters 'will not be screwed' - Ferrari

F1 News

F1 slow-starters 'will not be screwed' - Ferrari

F1 slow-starters 'will not be screwed' - Ferrari

Ferrari sporting director Laurent Mekies does not believe a team will be "screwed" this season if it fails to hit the ground running with the new F1 regulations.

F1 ushers in a new era following the introduction of changes to the aerodynamic rules, effectively reintroducing ground-effect cars designed to deliver closer racing and more opportunities for overtaking.

Mercedes chief technical officer James Allison has suggested one or two teams will have "got it really badly wrong", and if that is the case they then face "a terribly painful year".

With just six days of pre-season testing to try and eradicate any issues ahead of the opening race of the campaign in Bahrain on March 20, time is short for teams to play catch up should they have missed a trick spotted by their rivals.

Assessing whether problems could be fixed or whether a team would be in trouble, in an end-of-season interview that included GPFans, Mekies said: “No. I don't think you are screwed.

"You put the car on the ground, and you then start to check if you measure what you were hoping to measure. If not, you try to fix it, as you have done for the last 50 years or 40 years.

"It doesn't matter if the car is new. We have had different shapes in the past. Even more now than 20 years ago we are supposed to be able to simulate, to understand the flow, to understand how it [the car] is working.

“First, you try to get on the track what you think you should have. Then, where does that put you compared to the opposition? That will just be the next step, the push on the other development.”

F1 budget cap has consequences

One aspect for all teams to consider, however, is the impact of the budget cap, which for this year has been reduced to $140million, down by $5m from its introductory level last year.

Mekies accepts the rate of development may not be as high as in previous years.

"Not compared to 2021 because ‘21, obviously, there was near zero [development], or at least, for us, very little," assessed Mekies.

“But if you go back to 2019, 2018, we think you will see less [developments] for sure.

"Those years, with the big teams, at every race, or at every other race, you had something on the car.”

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