Ferrari: The proper way to do ‘spygate’

I was going to attempt to take the moral high ground this morning on the Ferrari ‘team order’ issue but there isn’t enough room up there to squeeze one more person in. So instead, I thought I would highlight something Speed TV’s Steve Matchett mentioned in their post-race review.

You’ll recall we mentioned a certain hiring at Ferrari back on July 1st. That new employee was none other than Pat Fry, former McLaren engineer. As the new Assistant Technical Director at Ferrari, we were left wondering just how long it may take for his input to have an affect. Could we expect his expertise on the 2011 car? If I were a betting man, I would suggest we just saw his impact on the Scuderia this weekend in Germany.

Instead of stealing a technical manual from McLaren and attempting to hide it, Ferrari took the Flavio Briatore road in that they simply hired an engineer from another team who brought his head knowledge of the car with him. It’s a gambit that has played out in F1 as many times as team orders but I can’t recall a time that it had such a quick impact on a team. I’m sure there have been times, they just aren’t coming to mind this early on Monday morning.

Ferrari, team orders aside, were the class of the field this weekend in Germany and represented a pace that has certainly caught McLaren and Red Bull off guard. both teams have never marginalized Ferrari’s potential but the Scuderia have been making serious pace improvements since July 1st. While I may be wrong, the big change may just be Pat Fry.

McLaren’s struggles with their new development package is a difficult one to address and they felt they had a better performance in Germany this weekend. It still proves that in-season testing bans create a real crap shoot when it comes to development in F1. The question could work in reverse and one could ask what impact Fry’s departure had on the Woking-based team but that would be complete speculation. Then again, this entire post is speculation isn’t it?

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