Ferrari are currently getting three different chassis prepared for an intensive testing period in February, including a mule car test for the 18 inch tyres.
While all the Formula 1 teams are set for a very busy February as they launch their new cars and embark on their pre-season testing, Ferrari’s month is set to be even more intensive as they also are carrying out extra tyre testing.
Formula 1 introduces low profile 18 inch tyres for 2021, with initial tests with McLaren, Renault and Mercedes all completed in the last three months at Paul Ricard in France and Yas Marina in Abu Dhabi. The preparation programme steps up over the course of 2020, with all the teams being given the opportunity to test the new tyres – provided they can supply Pirelli with a modified mule car. According to the regulations, this must be a 2018 or 2019 car that has been suitably modified to run the 18 inch wheels – this means it’ll almost definitely be a 2019 SF90 chassis converted for purpose.
Ferrari are currently in the process of building that mule car for this purpose, and are scheduled to carry out this 18 inch tyre test on behalf of Pirelli on February 8th at Jerez in southern Spain. The driver of the car is yet to be announced.
Alongside this work, Ferrari are also progressing at full steam with their 2020 race car. Already confirmed as set for launch on February 11th, the team is the only one to have revealed details of their pre-2020 schedule.
According to Speedweek, Ferrari will have two chassis prepared for the pre-season collective tests at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. One chassis will run the first three day test from February 19th to 21st, with the other running from February 26th to 28th. As expected, no details are being revealed as to whether these two chassis are of identical specification or are completely different philosophies.
Mercedes did something along these lines during last year’s tests, albeit it being two completely different aerodynamic packages as opposed to chassis. They brought a ‘safe’ package along for the first week, before bringing their updated, aggressive package for the second week.
Ferrari’s nomenclature for the 2020 car is yet to be revealed, but progress is well underway as team boss Mattia Binotto confirmed at last weeks’ media lunch at Maranello. The car is in the final stages of homologation, and will undergo rigorous bench testing at the factory before crash tests and subsequent dispatch to Barcelona for pre-season testing.
While testing consisted of two four-day tests in recent years, the addition of an extra race for 2020 means that teams have had their pre-season preparation cut to two three-day tests.