Maranello, 2 April – Scuderia Ferrari is working round the clock to recover the gap to its opponents that was revealed by the first two races of the season. While part of the team is in Bahrain for the third grand prix of 2014, at Maranello work is ongoing to develop the car to its maximum and to extract from the F14 T project the performances that have so far only been foreseen. As Team Principal Stefano Domenicali said: “We must give our drivers a car that is as close as possible to what their driving demands. We have a programme of development to bring forward, we know where we have to improve and we know what we have to do in a very short time frame.”
As well as the generic development programme, the engineers have therefore also devised a personalised plan based around the characteristics of the two drivers. With Kimi, in particular, work is going on to tailor the F14 T as close as possible to his driving style, which has always been very specific. After the first race the Finnish driver gave feedback to the engineers to be able to have a car that could make him more at home. His suggestions have been applied and the first improvements were seen in free practice in Malaysia, when Raikkonen set the second fastest time in both sessions. This adjustment work will keep going over the coming weeks.
With Fernando the target is instead to increase even further the interface work between the driver and the team. Indeed there is no computerised simulation that can substitute for direct experience from whoever is driving the car and the feedback by the Spanish driver – both at the end of every race and at the end of every testing session – is fundamental to understand in which areas performance can be further improved. Given his experience at Ferrari, the Spanish champion is equipped to show the team not just the elements that need to be worked on but also the priorities that must be followed to make the process of increasing the F14 T’s performance as immediate as possible.