Diego Tondi on working at Ferrari and the Paul Ricard circuit
The head of the development department of aerodynamic systems of the Ferrari team gave an interview
Before the French Grand Prix, Diego Tondi, the head of the aerodynamic Systems Development Department of the Ferrari team , answered questions about the upcoming racе.
Question: Tell us about your work. How did you fall in love with motorsport, how did you come to Ferrari?
Diego Tondi: In 2007 I joined Ferrari, and in 2008 I joined the team. I worked in the department of aerodynamics, tested parts in a wind tunnel, researched them on CFD computers, and today I head the department of aerodynamic development.
My love for motorsport began more than 35 years ago, when I watched the Grand Prix broadcasts together with my father as a child. At university, I realized that aerodynamics is one of the key factors in the competitiveness of cars, so I decided to study this topic in more detail. The long-standing relationship between the Department of the University of Pisa and Ferrari brought me to Maranello.
Question: What are the features of the Paul Ricard track from the point of view of aerodynamics?
Diego Tondi: Paul Ricard has a variety of twists. Some are very slow, like the 15th, others are very fast, like the 7th and 10th. This is one of the tracks where aerodynamic downforce is the main factor affecting lap time.
According to the results of our simulation, the optimal, due to the very long straight lines, will be the adjustment to the average downforce. But this season with new cars, it is important to take into account the smallest details in order to find the optimal settings and get the most out of the car.
Question: We are waiting for very hot weather. What measures can be taken in such a situation?
Diego Tondi: With such hot weather, which is expected this weekend, it is not easy to achieve maximum power of the power plant and good tire performance. It is up to those who work on aerodynamics to take appropriate measures.
We will adjust the cooling system to medium-high efficiency, using the brake ducts to cool the tires. We would have done it anyway, given the characteristics of the track, but the hot weather will make this task even more difficult. There are no particularly serious brakes in Paul Ricard, so from the point of view of cooling the brakes, the upcoming race does not cause concerns.