Ferrari adamant 2021 fight hasn’t compromised 2022 preparations

Ferrari is adamant that its season-long battle with McLaren for third in the team standings hasn’t compromised its 2022 preparations.

Among the first to publicly admit that its focus was the 2022 car, bearing in mind the huge rules overhaul, many have wondered if, in its battle with McLaren for ‘best of the rest’, it had taken its eye off the ball in terms of preparing for the new season.

Sporting director, Laurent Mekies insists that this is not the case.

“We made very clear from very early on, we took the decision to switch to 2022,” said the Frenchman. “We were hoping at the time, because we are quite distant from McLaren, which is early on in the season, we were hoping that we would be able to fight eventually for the third place.

“But we had chosen to make zero compromise for 2022,” he insisted. “So that’s probably the most clean answer I can give you. We have been asked that 25 times, and no way. The only development we had in the second half of the year was the hybrid, which again is something we’ll use for next year.”

The upgraded hybrid system introduced at Sochi wasn’t exactly a game changer, nonetheless in the races that followed the Italian team scored double the amount of points its rival scored, hence speculation over whether Ferrari had eased up on its 2022 preparations in favour of the present.

“If you reflect on it, the gaps are so small, and we often look back and say well, if you didn’t have it, these few hundredths or tenths would have put you X backwards,” said Mekies of the hybrid upgrade.

“I think because the field is so tight we felt the effect it gave us in the second part of the season, or in the third part of the season, was more significant perhaps.

“The other aspect is, as I’m sure you recall, we were so exposed in overtaking situations that it was at some stages making the absolute pace of the car a bit less relevant, because we were then so exposed in the battle that once you have fallen back, that’s it.

“So that small help in that in the end also helped us to better exploit some of the potential of the car.”

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