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Fry: We're heading in the right direction

NEWS STORY
19/07/2011

Ferrari chassis director Pat Fry says that his team's Silverstone win was satisfying but not because it was his home race.

It was the Italian outfit's first win of the season, and the first with the Englishman, who spent the previous 17 years with McLaren.

"The country did not matter," he admits, "it was how difficult the Silverstone track was for us. Having closed the performance gap through Canada and Valencia, tracks that suited our car technically, Silverstone was a lot more challenging.

"However," he continues, "I have to say I could sense a special feeling, a passion within the team that I had not experienced before. The main satisfaction was that it was great to get a victory in Silverstone after all the hard work of the past four months trying to close the gap and it was gratifying to see that it had paid off. It does not change our approach for the next few races. What that win does is show that we have understood our problems and we are working in the right direction. We will continue to develop the car as quickly as we can and each step we make improves our understanding, which is important as it also impacts on work for next year's car."

Silce Silverstone, work has continued at a frenetic pace to improve the performance of the 150 Italia for the rest of the season. Germany is the first of two races in the space of a week, with the following Sunday's Hungarian Grand Prix signalling the start of the long summer holiday which includes a period where F1 regulations dictate that all work related to car development must stop.

"We have a few more updates coming for this weekend at the Nurburgring and then one further update for Hungary the following week," Fry reveals. "We are keeping the pressure on to develop as much as we can before the summer break."

Referring to the specific demands of the German circuit, he continues: "In a way it can be compared to Silverstone, in that it has long duration corners, even if they are more medium speed than high speed. Trying to find a balance through those corners is a little bit more difficult as it suits our car less than the brake-turn-accelerate type of circuit like Canada and Valencia.

"In terms of tyres, we will have the medium and soft again, a sensible choice for this track and one which suits our car well. However, the last race showed we are making progress in adapting the car to all tyre types. Earlier in the year, in Barcelona for example, we struggled on the hard tyre, but we have made improvements and our qualifying pace on hard tyres in Silverstone was a match for others."

After two races which featured two DRS zones, Silverstone had only one. The British events did not produce the overtaking fest many had expected and Fry believes the Nurburgring could be similar.

"We cannot be certain until we have run the cars on track, but at the Nurburgring, the DRS zone involves following someone closely through the high speed corner onto the back straight which will be a little bit of a challenge for drivers to get within the regulatory one second gap to the car ahead before they are allowed to activate the system. This means the degree of difficulty should be similar to Silverstone rather than somewhere like Canada or Valencia."

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