Latest reports from the Italian media suggest that the Maranello team is cautiously optimistic regarding the progress and development process of the 2017 Ferrari car, as it is emerging in line with the high expectations for next season, after a 2016 Championship in which the Scuderia had to settle for third place in the overall Formula One World Constructors’ Championship and was unable to win a single race. However, that does not necessary mean that Ferrari is definitely on course to produce a car capable of fighting for victories, as this also depends on what rivals Mercedes and Red Bull will manage to do for the 2017 season. But it does mean that so far the numbers and the data collected from the simulators and windtunnel are encouraging and should allow the Italian team to continue the development process for the remaining time.
Having reappointed Formula 1 designer Rory Byrne’s in August, the 72-year-old – who was chief designer during the dominant Michael Schumacher era – although recalled only in a consultancy role earlier this year, Rory Byrne has been working closely with current Chief Designer Simone Resta on the 2017 Ferrari car – codenamed the 688 – on what sources suggest are the development of innovative concepts which intend to go to the limit of the new regulatory interpretations, in an attempt to produce a much more competitive and balanced car for the two drivers, Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen.
There are already many rumors that the 2017 Ferrari car, developed under the careful coordination of Rory Byrne, will have some new and efficient solutions as a result of a much more clever interpretation of the rules. It will be an aggressive approach that Scuderia Ferrari has not been so keen to pursue during the last few seasons, in opposition to Red Bull and Mercedes, who have always pushed development to the limit of the rules (and maybe sometimes even slightly beyond the rules) in their quest for Formula 1 success.
Whether Mattia Binotto’s efforts will pay off is hard to say. The first important moment will be the 2017 testing session in Barcelona, when the cars will make their first appearance on the Circuit de Catalunya track, during February 27 and March 2. The second session is scheduled to take place from 7 to 10 March, on the same circuit.