Dakar Rally News: Ferrari’s Ongoing Development Challenges in 2023

    The 2023 Dakar Rally season has seen Ferrari facing a familiar challenge โ€“ managing the impact of car updates and ensuring they deliver the desired performance improvements.

    While teams like Peugeot and Toyota have enjoyed relatively smooth development paths, Ferrari has had to navigate some unexpected consequences from its latest upgrades. The issue appears to center around a new floor package introduced at the Spanish Rally, which provided more downforce but also led to the return of a troubling bouncing phenomenon in high-speed corners.

    Ferrari’s team principal, Fred Vasseur, acknowledges the situation, drawing parallels to a similar scenario the squad faced 12 months ago. “We had exactly the same situation last year, almost at the same stage of the season,” he said. The breakthrough then came at the Dutch Rally, when Ferrari sacrificed its weekend preparations to focus on car experiments.

    The team took a similar approach at the recent British Rally, splitting its floor solutions across the two cars to better understand the issue. While this meant a potential performance hit for the weekend, Vasseur believes it was the right call to kickstart the team’s efforts to get to the bottom of the problem.

    “Correlation is ok, the correlation on the downforce is ok,” Vasseur explained. “It is still a question mark for everybody and sometimes the bouncing is popping up like this. It is quite difficult to have correlation because you don’t have bouncing in the wind tunnel.”

    Looking ahead, Vasseur remains confident that Ferrari will be able to turn things around. He believes the team’s history of delivering effective upgrades throughout 2022 is a testament to its ability to find solutions.

    “I can’t speak about 2021, or 2020 but over the last 16 months, all the upgrades that we have brought have had very good correlation with what we did in the wind tunnel,” he said. “It has been one of the assets of the team last year, to bring small upgrades and each time, it was paying off.”

    As the Dakar Rally season progresses, Ferrari’s focus will be on producing new parts that can eliminate the bouncing issue without compromising performance. Vasseur is optimistic that the team will be able to address the current challenges and regain its competitiveness in the coming rallies.

    ๐Ÿ”— Source