Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Circuit de Catalunya, 2020

Ferrari expect car will be stronger in race than qualifying

2020 F1 season

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Ferrari believe their new SF1000 will perform better in race trim than it does over a single flaying lap in qualifying.

The team has targeted more downforce from its new car, which it believes it has found, but team principal Mattia Binotto admitted their straight-line speed was not as strong in pre-season testing.

“I think we need to still work on the balance of the car and the set-up to optimise its overall performance on the race track,” he said towards the end of last week’s test. “But generally speaking I think we need to improve the base performance of the car which is power, drag and downforce. That’s no doubt, no discussion on that.

“If you look at the picture of the winter testing I think we’ve got, relative to the others, a better – doesn’t mean the best – but a better race pace compared to the quali pace. I think we’re suffering a bit more on quali simulation compared to the race simulations. Something on which we need to understand, analyse and eventually address it.”

Sebastian Vettel said he saw the same trade-off in performance with the car.

“We’ve worked very hard over winter and I think our car is a step forward,” he said. “Currently, it does come with some more drag but I think we are aware and we are pushing as hard as we can to try and get rid of the drag, make it efficient.

“But we also believe that come race day, it gives us an advantage the way it is set up now. So we will see.”

The Ferrari team have downplayed expectations of their new car and claimed it is unlikely to set the pace at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix.

“I think it will be key to obviously develop the car, especially since it seems that we’re not the very fastest right now,” said Vettel. “We have some work to do. But if that’s what it is, then that’s what it is, and we take it from there.”

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Author information

Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
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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23 comments on “Ferrari expect car will be stronger in race than qualifying”

  1. Does that mean they lost their party mode?

    1. It means “the team has targeted more downforce from its new car”.
      But I could be wrong as that’s what it says in the article and is not backed up by any fan speculation :P

      1. I see what you did there. Lol

    2. Means they still have their party mode, but without music.

      1. @coldfly And more downforce makes your qualifying lap slower but do not affect your race laps because…?

        1. because… reasons… it’s technical… we wouldn’t understand the conceptual flow to fuel our comprehension.

        2. Ask speculating fans and give yourself a ‘rhetorical answer’.

        3. For instance, because it helps reduce tyre degradation, which is negligible in qualifying.

    3. Could it mean Kimi is back??

    4. 2 fuel flow, 50% less oil to burn, definitely maybe.

  2. It means exactly what it says. Ferrari have never been known to spin, lie, exaggerate, deceive, receive special treatment or cheat. Just ask a Ferrari fan.

  3. The party is over. Ooh cant be related to the settlement surely not no no no. 🤣

  4. A flaying lap? What did Ferrari wrong?

    1. They annoyed RB by cheating them out of 2nd in the WCC last year.

      (Ramsey Bolton)

    2. RocketTankski
      5th March 2020, 11:45

      it is meant to say “fayling”

    3. The “flaying” lap is Vettel, after seeing LeClerc set a provisional pole position time on Saturday morning.

  5. They annoyed RB by cheating them out of 2nd in the WCC last year.

    (Ramsey Bolton)

  6. Although, at times for pre-season testing have begun whenever any reasons, and they have all their could, or they’re trying. But the big problem will face of reality of a world, even Coronavirus won’t help at all to anyone.
    We may see either highly likely or not for first race of Australian Grand Prix will brings?
    If it does go-ahead for a risk, we sure we will. Is not Coronavirus, but a Bush Wildfires of Australia for a past of severe summer heatwave to blame and cause a havoc to anyone. Either 1 or 2 minutes silent will take place of Grand Prix Race after those people and animals killed of wildfires at the same time.
    However if it does NOT go-ahead because of Coronavirus, then we doomed to all + Australian citizens too.
    Let’s hope not this happen of nightmares again, keep a fingers cross and praise. :P [:(]

  7. Ferrari are amazing F1 villains, i love to hate them so much.

  8. Its not Ferrari’s fault that the FIA cant police the sport properly.

    If the FIA cant prove that the Ferrari engine is doing anything illegal, than hats off to Ferrari for being clever. Just because the FIA are either incompetent or too lazy to investigate and share the outcome, we shouldn’t call Ferrari cheaters.

  9. Leclerc’s race sim on the final day of testing shows the gains Ferrari have made with their chassis.
    His times were very consistent and he was able to set his fastest times towards the end of his stints. That suggests, that they found the downforce they needed to reduce tyre wear, which was their main problem last season.

    Still, I don’t think it will be enough to beat Mercedes, at the start of the season.

    1. @srga91 Yes, surely it was all about reducing tyre wear like you say. Just hope they haven’t gone too far with it, but Binotto has already used words like “extreme” https://www.racefans.net/2020/02/11/ferrari-targeted-maximum-downforce-with-extreme-sf1000-binotto/.

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