Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Circuit de Catalunya

Ferrari: No significant changes to car coming soon

2019 Canadian Grand Prix

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Ferrari says it does not expect to introduce any changes to its car which will significantly address its performance problems in the near future.

The team is yet to win a race in 2019 despite being pleased with the initial performance of their SF90 chassis in pre-season testing.

“We know we’re not competitive enough right now,” said team principal Mattia Binotto ahead of this weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix. “And for the time being we haven’t got any more changes coming on the car that will have a significant effect on the problems we have encountered since the start of the season.”

One strength of Ferrari’s package has been its power unit, which could aid its cause this weekend. “The Canadian track characteristics present another different challenge, given that top speed, braking efficiency and traction are the main considerations,” Binotto added.

Binotto said the team hopes to put the disappointment of the Monaco Grand Prix behind it, where Charles Leclerc’s race was compromised following an error by the team in qualifying. “We arrive here ready to do our best and to put the mistakes of the last few races behind us.”

Sebastian Vettel won last year’s race at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve for Ferrari from pole position.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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39 comments on “Ferrari: No significant changes to car coming soon”

  1. Ok. But can you please promised us to win at least two races this year? One?

    1. Sorry, we’re too busy gloating over the veto. Maybe next year?

      1. ColdFly (@)
        3rd June 2019, 15:45

        Maybe the best way to win this year is to veto the Mercedes wins, @phylyp.

        I suggest they veto all 2019 championship entrants who do not actively promote a smoke-free world ;)

        1. @coldfly It’s against capitalism. Why not veto engine grid penalty rule this year?

          RaceFans should do a poll of what ‘a good for F1 veto’ could Ferrari give us to save this year from unwatchable season.

          1. @ruliemaulana @coldfly – it’ll be good fun if the other teams get together and petition Ferrari to veto the veto. Y’know, since the veto serves the interests of all teams.

  2. Focusing on next year

  3. What a disaster! He’s clearly saying 2019 is a write-off

    1. at least they’ve opened their eyes. merc keeps saying nice things of Ferrari and they don’t suspect a thing. the main reason “the ferraris are so quick on the straights” is low drag, their bargeboard and the rear wing are visibly smaller than the competition and the car looks a lot softer than merc, they keep mentioning tyres, characteristics and warm up, maybe the suspension is not suited. still wondering about the front wing, that said mclaren and str have adopted the same root.

  4. To be fair, it’s now or never. If they won’t win any of the next two races, the gap will be to big to close and might as well switch to the next year.

  5. Appreciate this straightforward approach.
    Hope Toto stops saying “we still dont have the best car on the grid”.

    1. @webtel – too soon to call it a trend, but in recent weeks Merc/Toto/Lewis have not been overselling Ferrari, so that’s a welcome change.

      I’m afraid they might start it up for Canada, though, given Ferrari’s success last year.

      1. @phylyp
        Yes. They have not been overselling Ferrari but they are still underselling themselves and it makes Toto happy for some reason. :-P

        Mercedes must take lesson from “lucky” Monaco win

        – Toto will keep doing what he likes.

        1. @webtel – LOL, looks like my comment held good for all of 12 hours :-D

        2. @webtel
 headline/quote from Wolff: “Canada ‘a huge challenge’ that could favour Ferrari”

          find the subtle keyword :)

  6. Pjotr (@pietkoster)
    3rd June 2019, 15:25

    That goes for the results too.

  7. And Mercedes have an engine upgrade due?

    1. @david-br, yes, the German media have indicated Mercedes are bringing an upgraded power unit for the Canadian GP with an increased power output.

      1. Thanks anon.

  8. Peppe (@turbopeppino)
    3rd June 2019, 17:02

    I read from the Italian motorsport website that there’s something in the pipeline for the French GP. Apparently a new front wing still with the outwash concept but more on the higher downforce path than this efficient layout. I guess they will have to update badgeboards and so on down the car to optimize the stream path?

    1. @turbopeppino – thanks for that info. That is somewhat reassuring, if they were to try changing their aero philosophy to the Merc/RBR approach, it might be quite a significant change that could easily go bad. This way, it’s better to try and evolve their current philosophy incrementally.

    2. @turbopeppino, I expect that there will be some updates to the bargeboards – there was a suggestion that Ferrari were perhaps trying to compensate for some of their front grip issues by trying to increase the downforce produced around the bargeboard area in the opening races, albeit by having to sacrifice aero efficiency in the process.

      I can understand why Ferrari might be focussing on incremental updates at this stage, because it could be that not all of their problems are purely aero based. I believe that another change that Ferrari made for this season was to switch to a hydraulically operated heave element for the front suspension, which is a set up that Mercedes and Red Bull have been using for a few years now.

      That change in the front suspension set up may well be causing a few set up issues as well, so whilst the front wing may be an issue, the change to the front suspension may be creating problems on top of that. Radically changing the front wing would probably make things worse, since then it might well just obscure what is going on – an incremental approach does at least make it easier for Ferrari to focus on some of the set up problems that are linked to the mechanical elements.

      1. I believe that another change that Ferrari made for this season was to switch to a hydraulically operated heave element for the front suspension, which is a set up that Mercedes and Red Bull have been using for a few years now.

        Anon, I think they have already switched to using to a hydraulically operated heave element for the front suspension back in 2017. It’s true Mercedes/RBR systems are more sophisticated, however such element have been present on the SF71H last year which was working everywhere.
        Ferrari have already allocated an extra budget for a B version of this year’s car, and as you have already mentioned the incremental approach would help to their resolve their problems separately.

  9. What was so different in Bahrain then?

    1. @f1osaurus – Why do you think Binotto’s hair looks so frazzled? He’s still trying to work out how they (almost) got it right there!

      Seriously, though, I read elsewhere (can’t recall where), that unlike previous years, the Ferrari isn’t good with high track/tyre temperatures. IIRC, in the past seasons, it was the other way around, the hotter, the better it was for Ferrari. That might explain why the twilight there helped them. But yes, it’s an interesting question, because Ferrari’s domination of that track was Mercedesesque.

      1. @phylyp, Mark Hughes, at Motorsport Magazine, suggested another factor in Ferrari’s strength at Bahrain, which was the fact that Bahrain is an unusually rear limited circuit.

        It seems that the SF90 becomes front grip limited much sooner than its rivals, especially Mercedes, but having a tendency towards understeer at the start of a stint is actually beneficial at Bahrain – it means that, as the tyre wear over the length of a stint, it tends to gradually bring the handling balance back towards a more neutral position.

        In effect, the characteristics of the track offset the weaknesses of the SF90’s handling balance because their rivals, particularly Mercedes, had to sacrifice their normal advantage on corner entry by having to set the cars up with more understeer than normal, which pushed the cars slightly outside of their best operating window. Add to that the presence of several long straights that allow Ferrari to maximise their straight line speed, and in many ways the layout was such that it masked the areas where Ferrari are arguably weakest whilst allowing them to maximise their advantages in the areas where they have been strongest.

        1. Thank you, anon, that makes more sense than tyre temps.

          1. @phylyp, to some extent, the tyre temperatures are probably partially interlinked with that, in as much as they do seem to be running into issues where they are struggling to keep both the front and rear tyres in the right operating window. That does create something of a positive feedback loop, where the imbalance in the tyre temperatures then exacerbates the natural handling imbalances of their chassis.

            In that respect, Bahrain might have been a combination of factors – the circuit layout masked the deficits in the SF90 chassis, meaning they had to make fewer compromises in their set up, whilst Mercedes had to compromise their set up more significantly and ended up falling much further outside of their optimum operating window.

            Hughes did point out that, when you look at the gap between the fastest car – Ferrari – and the midfield pack, it was at its lowest, percentage wise, out of the opening races. It perhaps wasn’t so much of a case of Ferrari being exceptionally strong as that of Mercedes being unusually off the pace.

          2. Cheers, anon.

      2. @phylyp Lol, could be.

        From what I understood Ferrari still favors higher temperatures. In Baku Ferrari blamed their disappearing performance in Q3 on the lower temperatures after all the delays.

        Vettel also explained that it took him a long time to get the tyres up to temperature. Higher track temperatures would reduce that issue.

    2. I believe Toto also said they went the wrong direction in setup at Bahrain and opted for a higher downforce level which induced too much drag, as being part of the reason they were behind Ferrari as well.

      1. Ah, that makes sense yes.

  10. Just now i red an article which states Vettel will be replaced by Alonso for 2020. Is there any updates on this.

  11. I guess Hamilton can send his “92 Wins” baseball caps order to Vistaprint now.

  12. Smells like hot garbage to me!

  13. Well hopefully they’ll make some desicion making changes.

    The thing that has made their performances so bad hasn’t necessarily been just the car.

    Cmon guys, at least get that together or we’ll be looking at a fairly boring outcome.

  14. Canada is one of the power track, who knows suddenly Ferrari would be dominating like Bahrain race due to superior sheer power of PU? I hope so.

    1. There are sections of the track where power will be an advantage but the alleged Ferrari power advantage did not work in their favour in Baku with it’s 1lkm and 2.2klm straights.

      1. Baku has a lot of corners too though and that’s where Ferrari were losing a lot of time.

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