Ferrari To Focus On Extracting More DownForce To Catch Runaway Mercedes
Scuderia Ferrari has produced a very fast car in the SF90. However Mercedes has produced an even faster car and in the hands of Lewis Hamilton, the W10 is prodigiously fast as demonstrated at the French Grand Prix. Hamilton unintentionally made his teammate Valtteri Bottas look out of his depth by claiming victory with an 18-second margin. Bottas may well be scratching his head as what to do next, he is fast enough but Hamilton is in a different league.
But Ferrari does know what it has to do, or at least they believed they did when the team arrived at the French Grand Prix. Armed with a raft of detailed and evolutionary updates Ferrari thought they were about to take a step forward. In one respect they did take a step forward. Charles Leclerc at least had the measure of Bottas during the race.
However Sebastian Vettel seemed out of sorts, he led what appeared to be a Ferrari revival at Canada only for the race stewards to interject. At the French Grand Prix, he was overshadowed by his teammate and during the race, he didn’t exactly excel by his own high standards.
Clearly, the Ferrari SF90 is inconsistent, fast one race weekend and not so the other. And the same goes for the drivers. Although Leclerc has been the most consistent of the two despite the points difference in the championship.
However, the updates failed to unlock the potential of the SF90. Team boss Mattia Binotto has concluded it’s time to concentrate on downforce as opposed to pure speed. It’s a classic contradiction, to find more speed you essentially have to go slower.
Ferrari’s issue is getting the tyres up to operating temperatures. During a recent media interview Binotto outlined his change of strategy:
“I think we are looking for, eventually, more downforce to the detriment of the speed,” he said during a recent media interview.
“Even if the car will not be too efficient, [it will] give more downforce to get the tyres working.
“That will be the direction to go.
“In qualifying at Paul Ricard we’ve seen how difficult to get the tyres working.
“We’ve got some homework to do in that respect, but that shows we have some margin to improve the car.
“So at least the direction we are starting to set is the right one.”