All F1 teams are expected to abandon the development of their 2021 challengers and switch focus to their 2022 cars early on this campaign, as next year will see sweeping regulation changes come into effect.
This makes 2022 more important than a typical year for teams and their development programmes, as it’s crucial they get a solid foundation for the new era of Formula One.
A number of teams, including Haas, have already said when they are planning on abandoning their 2021 cars – and Ferrari have now revealed their plan as well.
Specifically, Ferrari sporting director Laurent Mekies said they will switch focus to their 2022 car after the first three or four races of this upcoming season.
“This year will be a season of compromise between the work on 2021 and that for 2022,” Mekies said this week.
“The development work on the car will mainly concern the first three to four races because then the resources will be directed towards the 2022 car.”
Continuing, he said from the middle of the season onwards, cars “will no longer have significant developments.”
As for Ferrari’s goals this year, Mekies said fighting for the Championship is unrealistic and described 2022 as the “real window of opportunity” for the Scuderia to jump up the F1 pecking order.
“2020 was very difficult, fighting in 2021 for the World Championship is unrealistic, but Ferrari has the ambition to come back just behind those who will fight for the title,” Mekies said.
“The objective for 2021 is to show that, despite the practically frozen regulations, Ferrari can climb the ladder… beating the teams in the middle of the pack is a very ambitious goal that we have set ourselves after a very complicated season.
“2022 is the real window of opportunity to make a leap forward in the hierarchy,” he added.
Ferrari had a woeful campaign last year, with them finishing sixth in the Constructors’ Championship – their worst result since the 1980 season – and managing just three podiums in the 17 grand prix that were contested amid the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
The Maranello-based team and its supporters are hoping that Ferrari’s new 2021 power unit and their SF21 car will result in them being much more competitive this year, but with other teams also developing their respective packages, there’s no guarantee the Scuderia will have a better season.