If there is a team, among all, that has somehow benefitted from the Covid-19 pandemic, that has to be Ferrari. The men in red indeed turned up at Barcelona for the winter testing with a car that seemed quite out of pace compared to the top-team rivals. For sure those timings mean nothing without a full knowledge of the strategies, but team principal Mattia Binotto never even tried to hide his worries concerning Ferrari’s performances. Binotto claimed that the Scuderia was expected to be about half a second behind the Silver Arrows, in particular in the opening rounds of the season. The only chance Ferrari would have had to close the gap would have come through in-season updates.
Taking full advantage of the three and a half months delay, updating the SF1000 is exactly what they’ve been working on in Maranello. For the opening round in Austria, Ferrari is planning to hit the track with new features underneath the chassis.
First, it is understood that Ferrari has reacted to an issue it uncovered during pre-season testing, which required a stiffening up of the gearbox assembly. The improvements made should boost performances in a number of ways: car handling should be easier and tyres would gain both in performance and life-span. Weight and aerodynamics implications came as a logical consequence, but Ferrari has estimated an overall gain.
The other updated feature will be the power-unit: not having lapped in Melbourne back in March, and since then, means a ‘free’ update token.
The new engine spec is expected to have 15 more BHP compared to the one ran in Montmelo, vitally in such a fast layout as of the Red Bull Ring’s.
The Scuderia is still not fully convinced of the car’s expected behavior in Austria, home of the first two races of the season, due to its unfitting aero-package.
But front-end updates are set for the following GPs.