Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto has claimed that Mercedes’ new upgrade at the Bahrain pre-season testing wasn’t a surprise to them. Speaking to Autosport after the first day of testing, Binotto said:
“Looking at the Mercedes cars, no doubt, that it’s a great car. That isn’t a surprise to us. It’s a great car, a good concept, quite different to the one we’ve riol.”
The Silver Arrows ran a pretty bare-bones car in Barcelona’s first pre-season test two weeks ago and were widely expected to bring in a significant upgrade to Bahrain. The team did indeed bring in a significantly upgraded W13, featuring an extreme sidepod design.
The new sidepods are almost non-existent and seem to be a more extreme version of the design employed by Williams on their FW44. With this new direction, the Brackley-based outfit seems intent on maximizing their preferred ‘narrow body’ aero philosophy.
Ferrari reportedly considered copying Mercedes’ design
Ferrari reportedly considered heading in a similar design direction to Mercedes before abandoning the idea and sticking with its current philosophy. Quoting an anonymous source within the Scuderia, veteran Italian F1 journalist Guiliano Duchessa wrote on Twitter:
“Hearing someone on the side Ferrari (on the updated W13) says it is clearly extreme, but that they somehow thought of that direction in due course, discarding it, preferring the potential of what they produced.”
While the W13’s extreme sidepods have been a hot topic in Bahrain, Ferrari’s 2022 challenger also features a distinct sidepod design that is unlike any other on the grid.
While both the W13 and the F1-75 feature extreme concepts, they seem to be on either end of the spectrum. While conceding that Ferrari looked extremely fast, an engineer from the Brackley-based squad told the German outlet Auto Motor und Sport the F1-75 and the W13 were “worlds apart”.
The Scuderia have been consistently confident of the F1-75’s potential. Unlike their rivals, however, they haven’t brought any significant upgrades to the car in Bahrain, choosing rather to optimize it. According to Mattia Binotto, however, the team will not shy away from picking good ideas from their rivals either. At Barcelona, he claimed that they were already working on incorporating designs featured on other cars.