Ferrari has switched “90 to 95%” of its attention to developing its 2022 Formula 1 car, insisting it won’t reverse its decision despite how tight the midfield is.
Coming off the back of its worst season in four decades, Ferrari has begun the new campaign with a much-improved package, scoring points at every race so far.
In the hands of Charles Leclerc and new signing Carlos Sainz, the SF21 has proved a more competitive challenger, enabling Ferrari to fight McLaren for best-of-the-rest honours where it sits just five points behind the Woking-based outfit.
Although Ferrari is in contention for third place in the constructors’ championship, the team’s sporting director Laurent Mekies revealed it won’t be compromising focus on next year’s car for the all-new technical regulations.
“We are pretty much already in full switch, it’s already the case for us,” Mekies said, as quoted by Motorsport.com.
“If you want to put a number to it, if you call it 90% [or] 95%, whatever you want to call it, but it’s pretty much where we are.”
Asked if Ferrari would consider developing the SF21 further in a bid to overhaul McLaren, Mekies was clear it wouldn’t alter its approach.
“This is very clear to us, we are focused on 2022,” Mekies said.
“The fact that the field is tight that you may need a few hundredths or a few tenths to switch from sixth to third will not change our strategy, the focus is on next year.
“We have switched the large majority of our resources to it already. It doesn’t mean that some details will not change on the car from now onwards, as we all do with what we learn at the racetrack.
“But the focus is on next year, even if the field is tight. For us it is a clear decision.”
Mekies shrugged off concerns that a lack of upgrades could hurt Ferrari’s form over 2021, believing it will prove a “great challenge” for the team to get the most of out its current package.
“I think it comes with some good news with the race team, because your progress as a race team is always somehow blurred by the amount of development that you bring relative to the completion,” he said.
“You never know for sure how much the competition progressed, you know how much you’ve progressed. But this time there will be very little development.
“We know it’s only a few tenths, maybe a few hundredths sometimes between the cars and it’s down to us at the factory and at the race track in how good we prepare going into the track, how good of a preparation we have to do, how good we execute, how good we adapt.”
“So I think for the race team it is good news, because it means that’s what we have, and that’s what we go to a race with, and the fact that the field is very tight in that context I think is a great challenge for all of us.”