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2012-01-13 11:25

CREDIT DUE: F1 veteran Pat Fry's contribution to Ferrari has been praised by Fernando Alonso.

Alan Baldwin

Fernando Alonso has credited former McLaren man Pat Fry with bringing fresh ideas to Ferrari, even if it is still too early to say how the new car will match up to F1 champion Red Bull this season.

Fry was promoted to technical director at F1's oldest and most successful team in May, 2011, after moving from rival McLaren, where he worked with double World champion Alonso in 2007.

Ferrari won only one race in 2011, with Alonso in Britain, but hopes to do much better this season after a technical overhaul that continued this week with the arrival at Maranello of former Bridgestone tyre development chief Hirohide Hamashima.


"Pat has brought new ideas, combining a different approach to the one that Ferrari traditionally adopted towards its work," Alonso said in his first news conference of the year at a team event in the Dolomites ski resort of Madonna di Campiglio.

"If we can get the most out of these various experiences it will be very positive.

"Already in 2011 we began to see improvements in all areas but then we stepped up a gear again in the second half of the 2011 season with a more efficient way of working," he added.

Ferrari struggled in the first part of 2011 after the car's performance on the track failed to match the data emerging from the wind tunnel, which was found to be at fault.

Alonso said that problem should now have been resolved but it would still take several races before it became clear just how good the new car was, whatever the lap times set in pre-season testing next month.


Ferrari will launch the car at Maranello on February 3, 2012; the season will open in Australia on March 18.

"I don't have a crystal ball so I don't feel I can make any predictions," Alonso said when asked which team would be Ferrari's main rival.

"Theoretically, it will be Red Bull, but I say that based only on the fact that for the past two years that team has won both titles. I reckon we will have to wait for at least two or three races, which means until Shanghai, to really understand the hierarchy.

"On paper we have everything in place to do well but I can be neither optimistic nor pessimistic, partly because I have only seen the new car in the wind tunnel and from the diagrams on the engineers' computers.

"I don't think there will be a big difference compared to the other cars because the regulations are very clear but there will definitely be some innovations and good technical ideas."

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