Ferrari to focus token spending on rear end of 2021 car

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Ferrari's efforts to pull itself up the grid next season will focus on the rear end of its 2021 car, an area for which the Scuderia will spend both its development tokens.

To mitigate the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic, teams must carry-over their 2020-spec chassis into next year, although regulation changes for 2021 destined to reduce downforce levels will require teams to undertake aero and floor modifications.

However, chassis development will be strictly limited by a token system that will allow teams to choose an area or the elements of a chassis if wishes to change.

Ferrari's head of engineering Simone Resta says the Scuderia will focus its efforts on its car's rear end for 2021.

Sebastian Vettel (GER) Ferrari SF1000.

"We will redo the rear of the car," Resta told Italian publication Autosprint. "We think that this is the area that will allow more room for development between chassis and aerodynamics for 2021.

"Furthermore, the rear of the car will be affected by regulatory changes that the FIA are introducing to reduce the aerodynamic load in order to limit the stress on the tyres.

"As a result of these [floor] changes, all teams will lose a number of points of downforce, and it will be essential to work to recover as much as possible.

"All of this makes us believe that the most important area in which to spend development tokens is the rear."

Ferrari's SF1000 has suffered from a double-whammy of weaknesses this season: excessive aerodynamic drag and an underpowered engine relative to its rivals.

The Italian outfit is hard at work on its power unit for next year, but with limited scope for in-season development, Resta remains cautious over Ferrari's progress in 2021.

"Freedom is not as total as it appears," explained the Italian engineer. "You can develop [the engine] freely but it will be frozen from the first 2021 race onwards. Then you can't touch it any more.

"The aerodynamics, even if free, are still limited in form by what [structure] is underneath. You have to consider aerodynamics like a dress: it must be worn over a body, so in a certain sense the dimensions of the body affect the final shape.

"So if the [F1] nose structure remains the same, I may be able to design a new front wing but my creative autonomy will still be limited.

"All these freezes and limitations lead us to think that we will find it difficult to reasonably recover in a single season the gap we have now to the leaders."

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