Gazzetta dello Sport (God bless them!).
Summary: So far, so good.
Larini debuted the new baby-Ferrari engine in a 412-T2 latest specs as
fans attach a blue ribbon to the Maranello gates.
The hybrid Ferrari was almost identical in weight distribution etc.
to the current model. This of course in order to provide meaningful
comparison. The car in fact had a slightly shorterr wheel base as the smaller
engine required some not so elegant solutions as far as the location of the
gearbox (which will be eventually modified if the program will receive the
nod). On the very first outing (only 32 laps run almost at sunset on a
slippery track) Larini already got up to a few tenths off his very recent
Fiorano record . The next day (two days ago!) the engine sounded better
(different mapping?) and the times where more consistent. Although Ferrari
does not provide (of course) any hard datas or allow Larini to discuss the
driver feelings in details, the debut was deemed much better than reasonable
expected. The fans and Larini also liked the new sound as the sacrilegous
V10 (ouch I said it!) sounded un-Ferrariesque at low rpm, but would still
sing almost like the V12 at the top of the band. Larini let slip that the
car drives very satisfactorily, i.e. it is easier to drive in view of the
better torque. He hinted that the times cold be better yet already simply
by allowing him to adjust his driving style to the new situation. Both Alesi
and Berger, future Benetton and Renault drivers will NOT be allowed to
drive the car. Scarparo (this will be the official name for Schumacher in
the new team) will be the one to shake it down properly and compare it to
the V12 powered version. The decision to abandon the V12 or otherwise will
be made sometimes before the end of the year and a new car will be readied.
Barnard has been pushing for a more compact engine for the entire year
and would be delighted to get down to business and have the go ahead for
his new project. It sounds good, so far. We can only hope. Cheers, gfg
PS: Eddie Irvine did meet Montezemolo for lunch (even the menu was reported
but I will not pass that along here). The Ferrari prez showed off the Fiorano
track by taking Eddie for a ride in a silver Ferrari. Irvine did then go on
to attend the Palermo's Motorsport Show where he was an instant success with
the crowd even if he showed up at the Pegeout stand. It is rumored that he
will take residence in Bologna (not far south of Modena and just north of
Imola and Misano). Frankly I do not care if Scarparo gives him two seconds
a lap, as long as Eddie finishes second in most races.