Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Circuit de Catalunya, 2022

Ferrari’s extra wind tunnel runs only worth a tenth of a second per lap – Binotto

2022 F1 season

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Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto says the extra development work they were able to do on their 2022 car compared to Mercedes was only worth up to a tenth of a second per lap.

Formula 1 teams’ new cars for the upcoming season were the first to be designed and built under new aerodynamic development rules which handicap each outfit based on their previous constructors championship finishing positions.

As Mercedes won the 2020 constructors championship they were permitted the least development time last year, when their cars for the new season were being designed. Ferrari placed sixth in 2020 and therefore were allowed to do more of the same development than Mercedes, plus rivals Red Bull, McLaren, Aston Martin and Alpine.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff suggested Ferrari’s extra development resource could have been worth at least two tenths of a second to them. Binotto put it at half that.

“We have some more runs at the wind tunnel but if you look at the amount it’s a couple of sessions in the entire year,” he said. “It’s maybe a tenth per lap if you are very good, I think that’s the amount.”

The so-called ‘sliding scale’ aerodynamic rules are intended to encourage teams to use their development capabilities in a more efficient way, said Binotto.

“It’s all how you manage priorities, how good you are and efficient in your activities,” he said. “If you look at Mercedes, Red Bull, how strong they were last year, no doubt that as a team they are very, very strong and I think the regulations are in place to help the ones that are less efficient.”

Lewis Hamilton said Ferrari could be several months ahead of Mercedes with their car development, as they were not in contention for last year’s championship and could divert their efforts to the coming season sooner. “It was important for us trying to put focus and priority on 2022,” Binotto acknowledged. “We always said it was a good opportunity.

“Now we are on track, trying to learn the car. How we benefit from that I think only the next months will tell us and not the next days. I think as I said some weeks ago before [we] see the full potential of those cars let’s give it at least four to five races because there is so much still to learn, to adapt, to address.”

Binotto expects to see “a different balance between teams in terms of relative competitiveness” over the opening races. “So let’s wait and see.”

“I think do we have a benefit from that? Honestly I think we are not the strongest team, we are still the outsider and not the favourites.”

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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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17 comments on “Ferrari’s extra wind tunnel runs only worth a tenth of a second per lap – Binotto”

  1. I don’t quite know what he’s getting at. If you offered every team a tenth of a second a lap they’d have your arm off…

    1. Ferrari is slow, that’s his problem.

    2. He was probably prompted with Mercedes claim of 2 tenths advantage, but of course these articles never list the actual questions because it’s easier to make a headline without context.

      Please remember folks, these people are not just walking around throwing statements about. They are being asked leading questions.

      1. Please remember folks, these people are not just walking around throwing statements about. They are being asked leading questions.

        Comment of the year

  2. Binotto is probably not telling the whole truth, I would put money on him playing down any advantage Ferrari has gained through the extra development time. But so would any of the principles if asked the same question. Besides a tenth per lap is not as a starting point.
    Hamilton really should just stop with the underdog thing, it’s no more believable than ‘my tyers are gone, man’ :))

    1. @johnrkh Sorry to be doing this, but it’s ‘principals’. I’m doing this on principle :P sorry

  3. Merc had the least wind tunnel time until June 30 & RBR the least for the remaining year as they led the WCC at that point, but of course, Merc again the least until at least June 30.
    I’m sure Binotto is honest, although he could equally attempt downplaying his team’s chances for now.

    1. It’s not evolving based on live ranking but on previous year results. At the end of a season, it determines how many runs they’re allowed for the coming season, then how they balance between current season and the coming one is up to the team.

      Something I haven’t seen is if the teams should run predefined geometry in the CFD run or can have adaptive ones, a set of boundaries then allowing optimization of some surfaces depending on iterative results. Don’t know if they are there yet in term of software but as the limit is on number of runs, improving run quality and output will become very important.

      1. @jeanrien This is actually incorrect, it’s
        updated every 6 months. So the windtunnel time for the 2nd half of 2021 was determined by the standings at the end of June 2021, when Red Bull was leading the WCC.

        1. My bad then, missed that part and find it a bit strange.
          So limit your losses for first half of the season and come strong after?

  4. 0.1 of a second per lap gives you almost 7 seconds over full race distance.

    That’s huge!


    1. @sonnycrockett They will still find a way to somehow do a 7s pit stop..

  5. F1 , the only “war” where you downplay your power and highlight enemy’s one. Fortunately, the silly season is quite over.

    1. When you are weak, appear strong; when you are strong, appear weak.

  6. I can’t say I am a fan of this restricting Wind Tunnel/CFD time based on performance as it’s essentially a success penalty & I don’t think penalising success has any place in F1.

    It’s just another form of artificially trying to spice up the show by penalising success in order to artificially try & close the field up & give those who don’t do as good a job advantages they simply don’t deserve.

    If Ferrari come out the gate strong this year I think we have to start asking the question of how much is because they simply did a better job figuring out the new regulations than others & how much is because they were given advantages for been sub-par last year. And the same is true going forward if the teams finishing 3rd/4th back one year suddenly get elevated to the front the next.

    1. Yes I totally agree. Performance balancing begs the whole question about who’s doing it best, which is the point in the first place.

    2. I understand the whole idea of giving back field teams more opportunity to catch up. I even agree with it. And I know that all F1 has really done, is move the “baseline” to 5th place– But it really offends me that it’s presented as “winners get penalized with less R&D time / budget”.

      Help the lower teams all you want, but don’t punish winning teams.

      I would prefer a scale where the top 3 teams get 100% R&D / Testing, and it goes up 5% for each place after third– even if that “100%” is identical to the current “70%”.

      Don’t handicap the winning team, and don’t make 1st, 2nd and 3rd relevant for the in-season development battle.

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