The F1 paddock still can’t get over after phenomenal performances by Ferrari since the summer break and last week’s Singapore Grand Prix, where Ferrari managed to make 1-2 finish. The Ferrari Sporting Director Laurent Mekies told about upgrades which the team brought to Singapore, and how surprised was the team.
"We brought a lot of new parts to Singapore, so you are always hoping they will perform at best. If anything, yes, we were a bit surprised to be able to close the gap as much as we did," – Mekies said.
"Nonetheless, we are conscious that the gaps are very small. These guys [Mercedes] or these guys [Red Bull Racing] could have won the race equally, so it was just good to be back in the fight there, and here I guess we’ll have another good data point to understand if it’s going to be the case everywhere or if it’s going to be a lot more work needed."
Sochi track in general fits more Mercedes cars. However, Ferrari drivers were on the Russian podium in last 4 races here. So, with such upgrades Scuderia has good chances to do 4 wins in a row this weekend.
"Singapore was for sure a good result and as you said, Spa and Monza were also good races – but if you look carefully, it was extremely tight in Spa, that’s the reality of it. It was extremely tight in Monza, we had these guys behind us for 50 laps. It was better than expected in Singapore, with everything that is so specific about Singapore. So, here will be, I guess, a real answer for us when it comes to what’s going to be the pace from now until the end of the season," – Laurent explained.
This weekend Red Bull takes many penalties due to engine change on its and Toro Rosso cars. Next race is the Japanese Grand Prix and there is a point for Honda clients to avoid these penalties at home race. However, Paul Monaghan said that this change isn’t only for Suzuka race, but for the rest of the season.
"We haven’t taken penalties here solely for Suzuka. We are in our first year with Honda and, if you look at it, we’ve not had an engine fail or anything like that. All the engines in the pool are still there. As part of the programme to get ourselves more competitive, we’ve opted to take just five places here. It will dent us from necessarily being with these guys on lap one – but it’s looking beyond Suzuka, we’re into next year. It would be nice for us to go well in Suzuka, wouldn’t it? But I dare say the gentlemen to my left will have something to say about that," – Paul said.
Next month Formula 1 will have extra tyres test for the season 2020. Mario Isola told they need to finish all the work with new compound for 2020, that’s why Pirelli needed more time and extra test in October.
"The target of the test is to finalise the development for 2020. We had some addition requests in June and July, so it was difficult to change our development at that time and we made a proposal to have an extra test to test a new compound with a wider working range, especially on the Hard levels," – Isola told.
Also Mario said that 3 leaders of the championship will participate in the test and help with finalising of development for next year.
"That is not possible in Paul Ricard – that was the last test in September – and, luckily, three guys were available to run the test, so we will have one day each, Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull. That is a very good opportunity for us to finalise the product for next year."