As Ferrari went head to head with rivals Williams-BMW and McLaren-Mercedes in a test session at Imola on Tuesday, the Italian team tested a radical new aerodynamic wing on its F-2004 car.

As Ferrari went head to head with rivals Williams-BMW and McLaren-Mercedes in a test session at Imola on Tuesday, the Italian team tested a radical new aerodynamic wing on its F-2004 car.


The wing is mounted on the Ferrari’s engine cover and resembles one run by Toyota at the 2002 Monaco Grand Prix. It features two narrow aerodynamic wings, each around 30cm long, sprouting from either side of the airbox intake directly above the driver's head.


Earlier, at the launch of the F-2004, chief designer South African Rory Byrne promised there would be major aerodynamic developments to the car before the Australian Grand Prix.


"There'll be fairly substantial changes to the aerodynamic components," he was quoted as saying. "Things that will be obvious are the front wing, turning vanes and the aerodynamics at the rear of the car. I don't want to say more than that, but there will be a substantial change to the aerodynamics at the rear of the car."


However, Williams-BMW had the edge on the day. Ralf Schumacher’s FW26 outpaced brother Michael's Ferrari F-2004 by 0,054s. However, wet, snowy conditions hampered running.


Ralf set his quickest time early in the morning, before snow started falling. By mid-afternoon, the snow turned into rain, and most teams sent their cars out to conduct wet tyre testing.


The weather particularly disadvantaged Ferrari, which has still not done much mileage with the new F2004. Schumacher completed 32 laps in the machine and Rubens Barrichello set the third fastest time in the year-old F2003-GA, ahead of David Coulthard in McLaren's MP4-19.


Toyota was also present at the session, although the weather ruined its plans to test the handling of the TF104 over severe kerbs. Cristiano da Matta abandoned running after 19 laps, while Olivier Panis (who didn't set a lap time in the morning) managed 37.


Imola F1 test session – February 26

Pos Driver Chassis-engine Tyres Time Laps

1 Ralf Schumacher Williams-BMW M 1m21.869s 57

2 Michael Schumacher Ferrari B 1m21.923s 32

3 Rubens Barrichello Ferrari B 1m22.566s 27

4 David Coulthard McLaren-Mercedes M 1m23.198s 19

5 Cristiano da Matta Toyota M 1m25.581s 19

6 Olivier Panis Toyota M 1m27.001s 37


B = Bridgestone

M = Michelin

Original article from Car