Ferrari will use tokens to ‘redo the rear of the car’ for 2021

Ferrari will spend its development tokens on a revamp of the rear end of its Formula 1 car next season in its bid to move up the grid.

The Italian outfit has endured a challenging 2020 season with its SF1000 suffering from too much drag allied to a drop in performance from its engine.

Work is already underway at Maranello to develop a new power unit, while Ferrari’s head of chassis engineering Simone Resta has revealed that the outfit’s focus on improving the car for next year will revolve in one area.

“We will redo the rear of the car,” said Resta in an interview with Italian publication Autosprint. “We think that this is the area that will allow more room for development between chassis and aerodynamics for 2021.

“Furthermore, the rear of the car will be affected by regulatory changes that the FIA are introducing to reduce the aerodynamic load in order to limit the stress on the tyres.

“As a result of these [floor] changes, all teams will lose a number of points of downforce, and it will be essential to work to recover as much as possible. All of this makes us believe that the most important area in which to spend development tokens is the rear.”

As part of cost-cutting measures introduced in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, F1 teams are strictly limited in terms of how much they can change their chassis for 2021.

A token system has been introduced where teams effectively have to pick whether to upgrade one major area, or choose two smaller elements.

But despite the progress of the engine and the chance to redo the rear of its car, Resta is still cautious about the chances of Ferrari making a big leap forward in 2021.

“Freedom is not as total as it appears,” he added. “You can develop [the engine] freely [over the winter] but it will be frozen from the first 2021 race onwards. Then you can’t touch it any more.

“The aerodynamics, even if free, are still limited in form by what [structure] is underneath. You have to consider aerodynamics like a dress: it must be worn over a body, so in a certain sense the dimensions of the body affect the final shape.

“So if the [F1] nose structure remains the same, I may be able to design a new front wing but my creative autonomy will still be limited. All these freezes and limitations lead us to think that we will find it difficult to reasonably recover in a single season the gap we have now to the leaders.”

Additional reporting by Franco Nugnes

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