After pre-season test in Barcelona, Ferrari started the season much worse than it was expected. However, despite the season is already in full swing, Italian team continues to improve the work, implementing reforms and significant changes within the team, and modernize its cars.
One of the biggest event for the team was last Friday. Ferrari had a meeting at the headquarters in Maranello, which was attended by the Chairman of Ferrari John Elkann and its CEO Louis Camilleri. Together they made several important decisions. Firstly, the management expressed support to the Ferrari principal Mattia Binotto and discussed with him the steps to modernize the car.
According to the post-Spanish Grand Prix test last week, Ferrari figured out discrepancies in data, which team gets from simulator and from real situation on the track. As a result, team management decided to fire Giacomo Tortora, a specialist in simulation studies.
Also, at the meeting it was decided to provide additional financing to the team, which will be used to develop aerodynamics. At the same time, the team decided not to change the suspension, because it’s too risky to make serious changes in this area of the car during the season. In addition, it was decided to start work on the car for 2020 earlier than usual.
As for other modifications of Ferrari car, Binotto has claimed his team currently has no plans to radically change the front wing of SF-90 and adopt a more traditional concept of Mercedes.
"I think we don’t need to change our front wing. Simply it is a different concept to Mercedes, but it doesn't mean that we have achieved the maximum of its concept today. We are not foreseeing to change the wing concept," – Binotto said.
"The Mercedes style was checked at the start of our project so it is a comparison that we did at the start which was for one way of development. Certainly through the season you always try to double check back what you did to see if it was the right choice, but we do not foresee a change right now."
Moreover, Ferrari actively discusses the potential return of former Ferrari chief designer Simone Resta, who currently works as Technical Director of Alfa Romeo. According to rumors, Resta may be involved in the development of a car for 2020 or even for new regulations, which will be valid from 2021.
Also during last week’s test in Barcelona, Ferrari managed to find out another serious issue. Working with different settings, the team concluded that new Pirelli tyres deliver a strong blow to the speed of the car. So Ferrari is already working on new concepts in Maranello. Along with this, the team brought some updates in Monaco.
As for the first Ferrari results in Monaco, which drivers showed on Thursday, the team still loses to Mercedes. Moreover, in FP1 Max Verstappen from Red Bull managed to separate Hamilton-Bottas duo, taking 2nd position. As said Sebastian Vettel, they faced tyres issues again.
"The tyres are very, very sensitive and extremely difficult to understand," – Vettel said.
"It’s a combination of things. Our car is not quick enough. But also this might trigger that you might not find yourself in the right place for the tyres. The window is unfortunately extremely small to hit. You can see big differences in lap time across the same driver or inside the same team, which sometimes you struggle to understand."
"The feedback we get inside the car from the tyres, sometimes it’s better, sometimes it’s worse. There’s a lot of engineering power and science behind trying to overcome all these random scenarios. We’re doing our best but maybe other people understand a little bit more than we do."
For the Monegasque Charles Leclerc it’s the first home race as Ferrari driver. However, Charles risks to lose possible podium, as he already claims that despite last week’s test helped Ferrari to "understand a few things", the car is still not as quick as Mercedes:
"Not enough, obviously, to be at the level of Mercedes. I think we gained a little bit of time, not enough, we need to keep working. We need to try and understand what was the main issue, but the engineers are working on that."
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