Red Bull and Ferrari make changes
New front wing introduced by World Champions ahead of Singapore Qualifying while Ferrari revert to old-spec rear wing
Last Updated: September 22, 2012 1:01pm
The impression that the battle for the World Championship has ratcheted up a level in Singapore has been firmly underlined with Red Bull introducing a new front-wing ahead of qualifying - but Ferrari have abandoned their new rear-wing after an unsuccessful trial on Friday.
With numerous teams up and down the grid debuting upgrades for this weekend's Marina Bay event in Friday's practice sessions, most eyes were fixed on the changes to the title-chasing cars - particularly the Ferrari, who had promised their biggest update for several races.
But as the cars rolled out for Saturday evening's final practice session it emerged that Red Bull had been keeping what appears their most obvious upgrade under wraps.
The World Champions, already fastest in both Friday sessions with Sebastian Vettel, unveiled a new-look front wing on their RB8s which Ted Kravitz suspects highlights how they are "going to throw everything including the kitchen sink" at the car over the remainder of the season as they strive to retain their crown.
"New front wing on the Red Bull, debuted this morning - I wonder if it has just arrived, flown in overnight," Ted reported during Sky Sports F1's live coverage of P3.
"Lots of green paint on it for now. It is a four element front wing, and that's not counting the little caskets as well.
"This is Red Bull looking to strike back and where they say 'enough is enough, we are still trying to deliver a hat trick of championships for Sebastian Vettel and we are going to throw everything including the kitchen sink at this RB8'."
The decision to change such an important element of the car with just an hour's worth of track time to go before qualifying - after when set-up changes are prohibited - would appear something of a gamble, particularly given the RB8's inherent speed on Friday. But Ted says the team must be confident that the new part is going to deliver handling improvements straight away.
"They have to trust their calculations that this is going to help and give them more front end bite," Ted reported.
"Yes they will have to rebalance the car to a certain extent, but they will have lots of computer simulations to help them do that as well as engineering nous as well. But if it gives them that front end, then that means they can give the drivers what they want.
"It is a bit of the risk, but if it works it is worth it."
Ferrari, meanwhile, had spent Friday running a back-to-back test of rear wings on Fernando Alonso's car, with the latest version designed to produce more downforce.
However, Ted revealed that for final practice that had reverted to the older version as it was proving more consistent from a handling point of view.
"It's just quicker, more reliable rear downforce," he said.
"They couldn't balance the car with the new one. We may see it later in the year once they understand it better."