Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, Suzuka, 2018

Ferrari “not showing their real pace” – Ricciardo

2018 F1 season

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Ferrari’s recent slump in form has come as a surprise to Daniel Ricciardo, who admitted he doesn’t understand why the team are no longer taking the fight to Mercedes.

Speaking ahead of the Japanese Grand Prix, where the Ferrari pair were beaten by both Red Bulls, Ricciardo acknowledged the two SF71Hs haven’t been as competitive recently.

“I don’t know what’s happening there at the moment,” he said. “They’re still obviously quick but they’re not showing their real pace that they’ve shown most of the season.”

Some reports claimed Ferrari’s loss of performance coincided with the addition of a new FIA sensor to their power unit to monitor its performance. But the additional sensor was in fact added much earlier in the season, at the Monaco Grand Prix weekend.

FIA race director Charlie Whiting said there was “no link at all” between Ferrari’s loss of pace and the addition of the second sensor. He stressed he could not elaborate on how the team’s car is being monitored as it would mean divulging sensitive information relating to the car’s design.

“I’m not quite sure why that has happened, this drop in form,” he said. “I think some speculation that it’s due to this ‘magic sensor’ that we made them put on. I’m not going to go any further on that but I will say from an engine performance perspective we don’t agree with what’s been suggested.”

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2018 F1 season

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38 comments on “Ferrari “not showing their real pace” – Ricciardo”

  1. The chart seems to support the narrative that Ferrari have improved over RBR, and just that Mercedes have pulled ahead even further.

    Of course, this is <20 data points comprising different circuits, so extrapolating a trend might be open to interpretation/bias.

    1. “Even further”? Are you sure you’re reading the chart correct? Ferrari’s pace was better than Mercedes’ until Singapore, except for Australia, Spain, France and Austria. Ferrari has been ahead, pace-wise, in 9 of this seasons races.

      Only in the last 3 races has Mercedes been consistently ahead.

      1. (That’s compared to Mercedes alone. Including Red Bull, Ferrari was ahead for 8 races, as Red Bull had the best race pace in Monaco)

      2. @losd – I didn’t imply that Mercedes were ahead of Ferrari, just that they have pulled ahead, which is what you’ve also mentioned. The “even further” is relative to RBR.

        1. @phylyp Ah, my bad. Sorry about that.

          1. @losd – no worries, I should have phrased that more clearly, so it’s my fault as well.

      3. In Singapore Ferrari made last minute changes to their floor under the excuse that they had issues with their energy recover systems.

        Before those changes they were showing blistering pace in practice.

        That situation was never fully explained, but their qualifying pace fell away after that.

  2. Ferrari didn’t drop (too much), Mercedes opened the throttle

    1. @phylyp
      Nawwwwwwwww, group hug :)

  3. Mercedes’ improved form seems to coincide with the new design of their carbon fibre aero-drum they introduced in Singapore. This helped them extract more performance from their tires.

    There was an interesting article about that on

    1. Nice pointer, Lari. Might also explain why the Merc hasn’t seemed as finicky on its tyres as in previous years.

  4. Perhaps the difference wasn’t so much the car as the driver for both. I suspect both cars have actually been fairly similar in pace all year.

    Vettel has the ability to extract more from a car but this year I think has overdone it, particularly after falling behind. Now that he’s effectively lost the WDC, it will be interesting to see whether or not he and the Ferrari start to show pace again as he’ll likely be less desperate.

    Hamilton can do the same but still remains within the limits of his capability (which is exceptional). He’s now under no real pressure and I expect him to keep winn8ng until the WDC is his.

    That in itself has probably been the standout for this season – both drivers (and teams) have needed to be at the absolute top of their game. Sadly since the summer break, Vettel failed to do so, as has the team overall. Mercedes and Hamilton both have remained at the top of theirs.

    1. Hammy got beat by his teammate just a couple weeks ago. Toto ordered Bottas to move out of the way and hand Hammy the win.

      1. digitalrurouni
        15th October 2018, 15:12

        Yeah those 7 points were REALLY NEEDED by Hamilton to stay ahead right? *eye roll*

        1. Indeed, now we can really say “I told you so” to those who insisted mercedes were right with team orders, in a situation which was very likely to end up being exagerated.

      2. So because Bottas was ahead by .7 after less than 1/2 the race that means he beat Hamilton. A bit of a stretch.

  5. I think Merc has gained a bit in performance and has applied the better race tactics. While Ferrari has failed to maximise what it has gained in performance allowing them to fall back into the reach of RB.

  6. Theres an article on the F1 website regarding Ferraris lack of pace, due to recent upgrades which have failed. These were the new rear wing introduced at Singapore and a new rear suspension that had been configured to take fuller advantage of the rake made possible by the new front wing and associated parts introduced in Sochi.

  7. I can’t understand the chart.

    Mercedes were clearly quickest in race trim at Monza. Hammy overtook the Ferrari like it wasn’t there.

    Mercedes had a massive advantage in Spain.

    Mercedes had the advantage in Bahrain. They were clearly better on tyres. It was only Vettel’s incredible driving that kept the much faster Mercedes behind him.

    1. Oh it’s ok, I understand it now. The Ferrari is the best car then. Turns out I’ve beef talking none sense all season.

    2. The fact you can’t understand a simple chart explains a lot.

      1. I’m not sure how accurate the chart is when it show Mercedes were marginally quicker in Spain.

        Mercedes were untouchable in Spain.

      2. The fact that it can’t use Hamilton’s real name explains a lot too.

        1. I would use Leclerc’s comment as “anon is and always will be %£&&. That’s a fact!”

    3. Yes that’s the truth. Vettel’s exceptional talent of extracting the maximum from cars makes people think that he is driving faster car but the truth is Mercedes was always faster but it was Vettel who was making all the difference.

      1. Hahaha + 1

        Oh wait .. you’re serious?

    4. I disagree with the comments about you, but it’s very simple: this must be qualifying pace, do you really think red bull is THAT off in so many races in race pace? Absolutely not, red bull is totally competitive in most races, this is clearly qualifying, where red bull is worst.

    5. anon
      Man, you must really hate it that Lewis Hamilton is about to win his 5th World Drivers Championship.
      Sleepless nights???

      1. Very funny responses… lmao.

  8. What pace is compared here? Race pace of Quali pace? You just can’t compair the RB to the other two cars here in the last 2 races. RB didn’t bother doing serious Quali times in Russia (Penalty’s) and the average race pace was surely compromised by starting at the back. The same for DR in Japan, not running Q2, but with MV quicker in quali and the race as both ferrari’s and even DR finishing in well in front of both Ferrari’s. So which pace?

    Think RB was in just quicker than Ferrari in the last 3 races. And probably in quali in Russia as well, if they tried. Keeping that in mind, Ferrari did really drop down the last 3 races.

    1. Marcel, as you say, it is not entirely clear what exactly is being compared in the above chart. I think that it is probably based on qualifying performances, but there probably have been some fudges to create a sort of comparison (for example, I believe that the results for Japan are based on the results from Q2).

  9. Great article FROM OVER A WEEK AGO.

  10. Autosport on YouTube analysed the Ferrari pace on the straits pre and post the second sensor introduction. They concluded that the Ferrari is now running low of ERS power mid-way through, as you would expect. But before the sensor was installed, this didn’t happen. So the Charlies insistence that the sensor has nothing to do with their change in pace is ringing a little hollow to me. I suspect the FIA realised that Ferrari were pushing the rules past the limit, and the extra sensor is indeed partly responsible for a drop in pace.

    1. Staggering Donkey
      15th October 2018, 21:31

      Sure looks like it, naughty Ferrari.

  11. Ferrari would probably be extracting more out of the car if they hadn’t hired two drivers that had just got slaughtered by their teammates. What on earth to they expect?

  12. It just comes down to the tyres. For some reason, Ferrari can’t seem to get them in the window at the right time during qualifying. But during the race, they are fine.

Comments are closed.