Both camps indicated that 2012 would bring with it a host of technical novelties in order for PUMA’s two partner teams to build on their 2011 performances. Both Stefano and Filippo acknowledged that their aspirations for 2012 far outstripped their achievements of last season, so both camps were adopting some radical approaches in order to return to their customary levels of competitiveness.
Ferrari’s chosen path is less traditional and the team made a host of new appointments during the off-season in order to strengthen its technical and operational departments. Key amongst the appointments made is that of Bridgestone’s former Technical Director, Hirohide Hamashima. This move should make a significant difference to Ferrari’s competitiveness, as last year the team battled to unlock the full potential of the newly-introduced Pirelli tyres.
Of course technical development in Formula 1 and MotoGP is shrouded in secrecy, with the teams resisting the need to show their hand as long as possible – and often true performance cannot really be judged until the first race. Stefano confirmed the new Ferrari would be launched in Maranello on February 3rd and the as-yet unnamed car will also be undergoing its first track run on the Fiorano test track that day.
However, Domenicali stressed the car would be intensively developed during the three pre-season tests in Spain scheduled for next month, and would thus differ from the launch version in key areas.
MotoGP has a scheduled test session in Malaysia from 31 January, with Ducati’s Desmosedici GP12 due to be rolled out then. Although the bike is a development of the GP11, it has been developed as a much more open technical platform to allow engineers the freedom to develop the bike without constraint during the season.