As the moment of testing comes ever closer, more whispers are leaked and information enters the TJ13 chambers for your perusal.
Back in January, TJ13 published an article revealing a likely livery change at Ferrari, something rather different to what we’ve been used to seeing. Perhaps a return to a Ferrari look of yesteryear.
Well, not only could we be seeing a dark hue of Rosso but Maranello might well be looking toward Red Bull’s famous matte finish of the last couple of years as inspiration. A opaco più cupa ‘Mission Winnow’ Rosso so as to speak.
Allegedly, the team are having some difficulty deciding how best to decorate the body – usually sponsor decals are ‘painted’, for lack of a better word, then lacquered over for the gloss finish we’re used to seeing.
Actually this has an important function in terms of aerodynamics. By not using stickers with their raised surface, albeit in microns, airflow is uninhibited by using a gloss finish.
By going matte, stickers are the only easy method to add sponsor logos or messages onto the car body. Red Bull’s technique is not clearly understood, but given their bias toward aerodynamic perfection, it’s unlikely simple stickers are used.
In the meantime, it has also become known that Sebastian Vettel’s chief engineer has resigned to face new challenges. Strange that it happened a few days after the completion of the car, however, finding a replacement will not be difficult given the high level of professionals present at Ferrari.
It is rumoured that the episode of the screw and screwdriver being left by mistake in the cockpit of Sebastian in free practice in Brazil, may have affected the relationship of trust between driver and engineer.
Meanwhile, last Friday Ferrari organised a lunch with a small group of favoured Italian journalists. Included were Umberto Zapelloni (Il Foglio), Andrea Cordovani (Autosprint), Roberto Chinchero (Motorsport.com), Leo Turrini (QN), Luigi Perna (Gazzetta), Giorgio Terruzzi, Fulvio Solms (Corriere dello Sport), Ottavio Daviddi (Tuttosport) and others.
By all accounts, it was an informal and friendly chat about the expectations of the press from Ferrari and a way for the new CEO, Louis Camilleri, and Mattia Binotto, to get acquainted with those who will follow the red season. Of course, there was a total embargo of information discussed and no doubt the cosh will come down heavy on any said journo who doesn’t tow the Ferrari line in 2019.
With the car launch earmarked for 19th February, a little birdie from Italy claims that the team have been obtained good results in terms of power and durability on the test bench. Further, the numbers in the wind tunnel say that the new aerodynamics has not suffered at all the regulatory change to the front wing.
Meanwhile, it is understood that the car can be spied by those with a long enough lense prior to the first official F1 test on the 19th of February.
A filming day is anticipated on the 17th at the Barcelona circuit, with Haas doing the same around that date.