Carlos Sainz Jnr, Ferrari, Silverstone, 2024

Ferrari’s plan to minimise damage after “losing three months” to their rivals

Formula 1

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Max Verstappen best captured Ferrari’s plight after the British Grand Prix when he remarked that he knew he was really in trouble when Carlos Sainz Jnr began putting him under pressure.

Ferrari have lost their way in the races since the Monaco Grand Prix. Their average lap time deficit to their rivals has risen to 0.86% compared to 0.3% over the preceding rounds.

Sainz coped well with the tricky conditions in Silverstone yesterday, finishing fifth, albeit 47 seconds behind race winner Lewis Hamilton. He said the SF-24’s performance at the moment was “clearly not good enough” after the team chose to remove a recent upgrade package.

“We are basically with the same car in Imola and since Imola everyone has upgraded and they’ve probably added a few tenths to the car while we had to revert,” he said. “We’ve lost two or three months there of performance gain in the wind tunnel and performance that we could have added in these three months. So clearly we haven’t taken the right calls recently.”

He believes the team has taken the correct first step by removing the troublesome upgrade which caused high-speed bouncing around Silverstone’s fast corners.

“I feel like today was at least a back-to-basics approach, back to a car that we know was okay in Imola, and we just need to upgrade it from here. But unfortunately our rivals, it’s clear that they are a good step ahead of us.”

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The lead time on developing new parts means Ferrari face a choice between continuing with the older specification or reintroducing the upgraded parts for the coming races.

“That’s the situation we’re in,” said Sainz. “I trust the team will do the right calls circuit-to-circuit until a more solid package, which is not bouncing in high-speed and good in low-speed, arrives, and then we will start thinking about battling the top three teams again.”

Sainz admitted the new package could return at the Hungaroring which only has a pair of high-speed corners in which bouncing may occur.

“It still means we will bounce in [turns] four and eleven,” he conceded. “But until then, nothing better will come.

“We might need to live with the bouncing for slow-speed performance while in high-speed tracks we might need to run this floor of the old package if the other one is undriveable.”

Fifth place was the “maximum” available to Ferrari in yesterday’s race, said Sainz. “I’m particularly happy with today’s race because even if we were not fast enough in full dry or full wet conditions, we got all the pit stop calls right.

“In the middle of the race when it was slicks on [a wet track] I managed to catch the podium places by six or seven seconds in those conditions that I always enjoy. We put ourselves in the fight for the podium but unfortunately, as soon as it got full wet or full dry we were just not quick enough.”

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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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4 comments on “Ferrari’s plan to minimise damage after “losing three months” to their rivals”

  1. In the meantime, Ferrari has announced that Cardile will step down from his role as the team’s technical director. Good luck, Fernando Alonso !

  2. Just like in 2018, taking months worth of ‘updates’ from the car is a very bad sign. Surprising, too – because Ferrari showed up to the first rounds looking, maybe not competitive on pace, but certainly much improved from 2023. It’ll be interesting to see what caused the disconnect between that initial package and the fumbled updates.

    With Vasseur now temporarily taking over from Cardile, it seems there’s a bit of unrest in good old Maranello. And rightly so, because unlike last year this project is 100% a creation Vasseur and his team, and it’s not good enough.

  3. BLS (@brightlampshade)
    8th July 2024, 21:28

    Something has gone awry at Ferrari. I’m sure some are hoping it’s a pre-Newey shuffle, but I think it’s more likely to be Ferrari’s ever present issue of struggling with in-season development.

  4. Ferrari can’t develop in season. The only seasons they have done well in the past years were also due to cheat tech..

    Cleaning more of the team is a good thing. They need to change the culture.

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