Token system: Ferrari uses jokers to develop the rear end

( – The token system is back in Formula 1 and will regulate the further development of the bolides for 2021. Ferrari has already decided how the two tokens should be used. For the coming year, work in Maranello will mainly be on the stern of the red goddess to initiate a turnaround.

Sebastian Vettel

Ferrari’s main focus in further development is the rear



The FIA ​​decided in spring to extend the current regulations to 2021 due to the corona pandemic. Most mechanical components are frozen and homologated. However, there is a way out: Each team can use two tokens to develop components.

“Some teams may have a problem with their car that they shouldn’t live with for two years,” said Ross Brawn, head of sport. His former employer has had a messed up season so far and is happy to be able to improve the Ferrari thanks to the tokens in order to become more competitive in 2021.

The basic problem of the SF1000: Due to the strong engine power in the previous year, Ferrari built a car with more air resistance, but according to the clarifications of the FIA, the power in the rear of the racer is missing. Neither the engine nor the chassis have been convincing so far.

A new power unit is already being developed in Maranello; on the chassis side, the traditional team is concentrating on one area in particular, as Chassis chief engineer Simone Resta reveals at ‘Autosprint’. “We’re going to redesign the rear of the car.”

The chassis engineers are convinced that the rear of the car has the most room for improvement. “In addition, the rear of the car will be affected by rule changes,” says Resta.

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He addresses changes in the aerodynamic load in the area of ​​the underbody, which is to be trimmed for 2021 in order to protect the Pirelli tires. “All teams will lose downforce points as a result of these changes.”

It will therefore be “essential” to get as much downforce as possible. “All of this leads us to believe that this is the most important area. So we’re going to use up our development tokens in the rear.”

At the end of July, the FIA ​​teams had to send a letter of intent with a brief explanation of the reasons for using the tokens; the third and final deadline was set for September 21. The direction of development for 2021 is therefore clearly specified for all teams.

Despite the Ferrari plans, Resta is still cautious about his team’s future chances. Because: “Freedom is not as comprehensive as it seems. You can develop the engine freely in winter, but it will be frozen from the first race in 2021.”

The FIA ​​is not that strict on aerodynamics, but there are still limitations in this area, notes Resta. “The aerodynamics are still limited by the structure that lies underneath. It’s like a dress, it is worn by a body. The dimensions of this body therefore affect the final shape.”

If the structure of the nose remains roughly the same, an engineer can develop a new front wing, but his creative autonomy is limited. “All of these limitations mean that we consider it very difficult to make up the gap to the top in just one year.”

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