Laurent Mekies says it would be ‘naïve’ of Scuderia Ferrari to assume they will close the gap to the leading teams in 2022 despite the introduction of new aerodynamic and tyre regulations aimed at closing up the field.
The 2022 season will see cars looking significantly different compared to what was seen on track in 2021, whilst the tyres will switch from the traditional thirteen inch to eighteen inch.
No one knows how close the field will be this year, with teams yet to have revealed their 2022 machines, but the drastic change in aerodynamic regulations meant teams switched their attention to them earlier than normal, meaning very little development was done on the 2021 cars.
Mekies, the Sporting Director at Ferrari, says that whilst his team have focused their efforts on their 2022 car early, it is no guarantee that they will be any closer to the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team or Red Bull Racing, even if their rivals were forced to focus more on the 2021 cars than they would have liked to.
Third placed Ferrari finished two hundred and sixty two points behind Red Bull and two hundred and ninety points behind Mercedes in 2021, and whilst Mekies says the aim is to close the gap and return the Maranello-based team to the front of the grid, he is not taking anything for granted.
“I’m sure they had to develop this year,” Mekies is quoted as saying by Motorsport.com. “However, they are in both cases incredible organisations, and it’s enough to look at the results to see it.
“Therefore, I would not underestimate for one second their capability to produce a great 2022 car.
“Yes, they had to spend more on 2021, but if you look at the results they have produced in the last 10 years, one and the other, you will need to be very naive to think that it’s going to be easy to close the gap.
“Because ultimately, you still have to close the gap. Even us, we look at the 2022 car numbers compared to where we are, and if compared to where we are is X number of tenths slower to these guys, then we need to get that gap plus the gap to them.
“So I would not be too worried for them.”