The knife-edge nature of Formula One is mind boggling but to get a car in a position to win, you have to qualify for the race. Ferrari are bigging up their car in the press saying they are more excited with the future development potential of the F138 than last year’s car by far. They even say it’s a title contender… we’ll see.
What they also admit is that they can’t ignore qualifying and in 2012, Lotus F1 proved that you can do that at your own risk. Failing to qualify well places a huge ask on the car in the these heady days of high degradation tires. Drivers aren’t able to push the cars like they used to in order to make up lost ground from qualifying.
To those ends, Pat Fry says he knows that qualifying can’t be an afterthought telling the press:
“We’ve shown reasonable race pace and on all the tyre types we have used so far we have performed well,” said Fry
“However we still have a way to go to be quickest in qualifying and we are working very hard on that at the moment.
“We’ve been concentrating on the longer runs, even if they are not as long as in the past, because this year we expect more pitstops during a race.
“However, we have not ignored our qualifying pace. I am sure there is more to come on this front, as we learn more about our car and start getting the best out of it.”
They would do well to qualify in the best place they can because Fernando Alonso is one man who can make brilliant starts from the green light. Felipe Massa can as well when he’s in his zone. So Ferrari’s future aspirations and hopes for the F138 chassis lay in its ability to be developed into a great qualifying car as well as racing car. Is the 2013 chassis up for the task? If so, is it better positioned than the red Bull, McLaren or Mercedes… or even Lotus?