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Ferrari: 2009 development entering delicate phase 20 Aug 2008

Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari F2008.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 11, Hungarian Grand Prix, Race, Budapest, Hungary, Sunday, 3 August 2008 Car of Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Ferrari F2008 on the grid.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 11, Hungarian Grand Prix, Race, Budapest, Hungary, Sunday, 3 August 2008 Ferrari F2008.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 8, French Grand Prix, Preparations, Magny-Cours, France, Thursday, 19 June 2008

With over 50 championship campaigns under their belts, Ferrari are well-versed in balancing the demands of two seasons - maximising current results while simultaneously carrying out adequate preparations for the future. But with far-reaching changes to the regulations coming into effect in 2009, the Italian team have admitted the process this year is presenting more of a test than usual.

“Although it is a challenge we have faced many times before it is particularly tough this time, as there are so many new elements coming into play for next season, such as the return to slick tyres and the introduction of the KERS system,” explained technical director Aldo Costa on Ferrari’s official website.

“This makes the puzzle more complicated than ever, which is why we have to operate as efficiently as possible in terms of time management, commitment and energy, as we are now in a delicate phase with no way to recover from any mistakes. One step in the wrong direction could prove very costly.”

To add to the pressure, Ferrari have the prospect of another intense title fight on their hands as the 2008 season moves into its final stages. Following some disappointing results in recent races, their once-large lead has been slashed to just 11 points over McLaren and Costa insists the team will not be distracted by their ’09 development work, currently entering its production phase for main components including chassis and gearbox.

“Ferrari has the ability and resources to work on next year's car, without having to relax for one moment on continuing the development of the F2008 in a championship that is proving to be very tight between ourselves and our usual opponents,” he added.