Maranello, 1 February – Walk around the Ferrari factory and you won’t actually see anyone juggling or walking on a tightrope like a circus act, but metaphorically, that’s what the Production Department has been doing for some time, firstly balancing the demands of the 2012 and 2013 cars and then the need to also look to 2014.
“The fact we were fighting for the title right to the very last race in 2012 involved us in developing components such as wings and bodywork for the final rounds in the United States and Brazil, while at the same time developing the new 2013 car,” explains the Scuderia’s Head of Production, Corrado Lanzone. “So, a very big effort was required in terms of discipline, in respecting the plan so as to allow both car programmes to carry on correctly without either one compromising the other. In order to continue bringing developments to the F2012 so as to be in the fight right to the end and not affect the very important work on the F138, we imposed very strict organizational rules and this involved a great effort from everyone working here in the factory and from outside suppliers so as to reach the targets we had set ourselves.”
The fact there is general stability in the rules does not necessarily mean less work, as there is always room for improvement. “When it came to the F138 our two priorities were weight reduction and miniaturisation,” continues Lanzone. “Whenever rules remain unchanged the engineers concentrate their efforts on weight reduction, weight distribution and producing components to the very highest feasible level. This means confronting many challenges on the production side, putting us on the technological cutting edge in these areas of weight reduction and miniaturization of the components. The production stage is when it is vital to get this work done correctly, because while it is relatively simple to change the shape of external parts of the car during the season, it is a harder task when it comes to the core components. Miniaturisation, especially at the rear end of the car, allows us to come up with designs of aerodynamic components which give us a gain in terms of aero efficiency points and, eventually, in lap time.”
Working on two cars at the same time will still be the theme this year. “Like the need to continue development of the F2012 while working on the new F138, we now face another overlap, because of the need to look to the development and manufacturing linked to the 2014 car and new engine, while still fighting hard in 2013,” states Lanzone. “Our own staff and suppliers must again adopt a very disciplined approach so as not to compromise either programme, requiring a special effort on the organizational side, because the “time to market” of each element of the car must be met for the different steps in order for the project to be completed on time, so as to be in as strong a position as possible for 2014.”