Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 2018

Ferrari will not use latest upgrade again in Mexico

2018 United States Grand Prix

Posted on

| Written by and

Ferrari has again decided not to use its most recent upgrade package in this weekend’s Mexican Grand Prix after testing it back-to-back with a previous specification.

Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen ran the two different versions in practice at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez today. Afterwards Vettel told media: “We’re sticking to the old package.”

At the previous race in Austin, Vettel said the team became more competitive because it removed “three or fourth months” worth of upgrades from its car.

Vettel ended the second practice session behind both Red Bulls and, unusually, Carlos Sainz Jnr’s Renault. He admitted Ferrari hasn’t got the best out of its car over a single lap yet.

“I think in the long run it’s not too bad but for one lap we’re struggling quite a bit to get the balance right and squeeze everything out of the tyres.”

“The difficulty is that you don’t have any grip so we’re sliding a lot. And the problem is if you don’t have a lot of grip and downforce because the air is so thin you don’t get the tyres to work.

“When the tyres don’t work it’s really tricky. That’s why you can see quite big jumps in lap time. If you don’t get it right you’re quite far off the pace.

“I think that will be the main job to get right for tomorrow because you have one lap in quali. I think with the hyper-soft it should be a bit easier but still it’s tricky to keep a clean balance from the beginning to the end of the lap.”

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2018 F1 season

Browse all 2018 F1 season articles

8 comments on “Ferrari will not use latest upgrade again in Mexico”

  1. If an upgrade proves to be a backward step shouldn’t it be called a downgrade

    1. @ceevee

      Yes, they upgraded their downgrade. Or did they downgrade to upgrade?

      And that’s not even the confusing part. I want to know how millions and countless hours can be spent on upgrades that don’t work, yet removing them makes them as fast as an Merc that they were as fast as but was then upgraded. Does that mean Ferrari and Merc don’t really have solid ideas and are just making random changes? And the rest of the field is just clueless and can’t keep up?

      Maybe he is looking for an explanation that downgrades his culpability?

      Dang, I’m totally confused, none of these explanations make sense.

      1. Hamilton said Merc had a setup/balance/weight distribution problem in Austin. Must have too many tacos or something. Regardless the Merc had it’s own downgrade issue last week.

        So whether the upgraded downgraded Ferrari is as fast as the downgraded upgraded Merc cannot really be judged on the basis of last week. This week will tell.

        1. When the team sets up the cars, they put all for wheels on independent scales. That way, they can establish how much weight is on each wheel and side of their cars. Then they can readjust their ballast to ensure a proper balance. Obviously to access a water pump you are going to dislodge a lot of other components and parts to get there, and after fitting everything back, they didn’t have access or time for weight balance. So it appears ridiculous an excuse, but considering how finely balanced the cars are, it can have a severe impact on car handling and tyre wear.

  2. Just common sense, especially for the floor. They haven’t been able to test in properly because of the rain at Austin and now the very low grip at Mexico

  3. All this really shows is that Ferrari have made a fast car, but don’t really understand how or why it is fast. So instead of enhancing its characteristics with the upgrades, they’re changing them.

    1. F1 has got very sophisticated and a lot of precision and attention to detail is involved.
      Sometimes the performance is there from the new part, but subtle variations in the mounting of other components on the car, easily nullifies those gains or restricts that potential to very narrow windows.
      You can design the most efficient front wing, the ultimate floor and the best rear wing and all together and end up with drag, because they can’t work together. Or maybe the potential is still there, but the car becomes more unstable and requires more delicate driving. If a car becomes a bit unstable, most drivers will complain, but it doesn’t mean the car is slower, just that the drivers find it more difficult to consistently extract the new potential of the car.
      I will even go as far to say that, some car updates ideally should require a driver update, but that is not possible.
      I’ve come to recently appreciate the unpredictable nature of wind that I do find it hard to now make disparaging comments about the engineers and technicians responsible for these updates.

  4. Hmm…? Means? Phew!!
    We very nearly got nabbed for the 2stroking “party mode boost!!!!

Comments are closed.