Fernando Alonso does not want his Ferrari team being distracted from this year’s championship campaign by the need to prepare for next year’s new engine rules.
The scale of the changes set to hit F1 next year have been described as a “tsunami” by one technical director. Ferrari aren’t the only team who have a separate part of their team dedicated to working on the 2014 car and engine.
But Alonso, who begins his fourth season at Ferrari this year, is anxious that the team doesn’t get preoccupied with the 2014 car too soon.
“You cannot test anything on the 2013 car that will be useful for the 2014 season,” he pointed out. “You cannot use Fridays to test the turbo, so you will need to continue working on the 2013 season.”
Alonso said the only circumstances Ferrari might switch their focus to 2014 early is if they have a poor start to the season – something he does not want to think about:
“It will be difficult to come to the middle part of the season and give up,” he said. “That will only happen if you are 50 or 60 points behind the leader.”
“That is something we don’t wish to contemplate, and if we do come to that point then it will be better to concentrate on 2014.”
The decision when to halt work on the 2013 car and switch all efforts to 2014 is one all the teams will have to grapple with. But it’s especially crucial for Ferrari as one of F1’s two chassis-and-engine manufacturers.
Mercedes, the only other team in this position, clearly see 2014 as an opportunity to make gains and have already shown off a version of their new V6 engine.