Teams were already under preparations for the peak of the “high-speed season” well before the three weeks of stop.
Ferrari should be on top of the hungriest teams waiting for a redemption win in the last races of season: tyre choice for the Belgian event see the Italian team more aggressive than Mercedes rivals; as reported from Motorsport.com, Cavallino technicians are at work on the Spec-3 evolution engine allowed from regulations during a championship. Together with Shell partner, engineers are saying to be getting an extra power of 20 HP from the PU, thanks to a new bi-metallic material of pistons allowing higher pressure inside expansion chamber.
Indeed, the preview from the Team Principal of the Silver Arrows wasn’t encouraging: "I have no doubt that the conversation could be totally different than the one we're having right now" said Toto Wolff in Budapest paddock; "They have a very strong engine and less drag, and that's why we will see a very strong Ferrari in Spa and in Monza” admitted. Mercedes needs to solve speed lacking shouldn’t be so serious as a downforce absence as Ferrari experienced in Hungaroring: with only the old rounds like Spa, Monza and Silverstone still surviving in being high speed circuits, Lewis and Valtteri don’t have to worry much about losing 6-7 km/h in long straights. Temperature issue, cause of Austria debacle should concern much the Brackley work group.
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Even at Haas premises, the summer sun isn’t the hottest thing from worry from. The Pirelli tyres are getting the attention of the engineers, since they cannot work properly: "It's unbelievable that the car yesterday was seconds slower and now this morning was fifth fastest. I still believe we shouldn't have a tyre that works in such a narrow window" said Gunther Steiner at the Budapest paddock, claiming more space for the teams on the range of usage of rubber. "When it's cold the car is phenomenal. It's really a completely different car. I think I said it on the radio too, it's insane how different the car is yesterday to today” complained Kevin Magnussen after Qualifying. The paradox was that the Melbourne spec car could have been faster than the one shown a dozen of races later: “It’s drastic, and it’s very unusual [getting to the original version of the car], but sometimes you have to look outside of the box to know what to do to get an understanding. Our aim is now to just understand what we have to do the second half of the season, nothing else”.
Back in Melbourne were seen the first points for the Honda return to races. After the Austria win and reliability been ticked, performance is the next target, especially in Qualifying sessions. “Yes, we see a bigger gap in qualifying compared to the others. In the race we are still behind but not as much as in qualifying” stated back in July Honda F1 technical director Toyoharu Tanabe; “So it means the next step we need to catch up is a qualifying mode or something, but it’s not easy” added a month earlier the maiden pole of Max Verstappen in the last Grand Prix. A bigger chance of scoring another pole sitting position in fast circuits could be on the chords of the Red Bull-Honda tandem if Japanese technicians could be able to extract a few more power from their PU. The show would gain more drama for sure.