Ferrari is still working to solve the ‘fluttering’ problem with Felipe Massa’s new 2012-style front wing. The Red Bull-like wing – apparently designed to pass the aerodynamic load tests but still flex towards the track – was observed violently oscillating at high speed in India two weeks ago.
The Italian team said it had fixed the problem for Abu Dhabi but in the Friday practice sessions Massa’s wing was still ‘fluttering’ and sending up spectacular sparks when the extremities bottomed out.
“The reality is that we found something that was not correct in terms of the structure of that wing (in India) but apparently it seems that there is still a problem,” admitted team boss Stefano Domenicali.
But why isn’t the problem similarly affecting Fernando Alonso’s sister car?
“I have got engineers much more expert than me here that know that an effect on a wing can depend on a lot of issues, a lot of things,” said Domenicali. “It depends on the setup of the car, depending on tyre pressure and so on. Maybe it is a combination of all these elements for our engineers to understand and react as it is not what we would like to see.”
On the bright side, Massa said he was not aware of the problem until he saw the television replays.
And Ferrari is also happy to have encountered the problem now, before the crucial 2012 pre-season test period.
“We would have lost an entire week of testing,” an unnamed team member confided to Auto Motor und Sport.