Ferrari is aiming to bring at least some of its aerodynamic upgrades forward by a race to analyze at this weekend’s Styrian Grand Prix.
The second race of the season also takes place at the Red Bull Ring but is named after the region the circuit is located in, after the season-opener used the usual Austrian Grand Prix title. Ferrari struggled for pace in the first race despite Charles Leclerc finishing second, in part due to a lack of updates after the team changed aerodynamic direction due to problems unearthed in pre-season testing.
The Scuderia was aiming to have a major new aero package in Hungary at the third round of the season, but now says it is working to introduce the new package this coming weekend in Austria, “or, at least, some of its components”. Aside from wanting to improve the car’s performance, testing the upgrade on the same circuit as the team raced on last weekend will allow for a direct back-to-back comparison.
Ferrari CEO Louis Camilleri says Leclerc’s performance and the reaction from the team is exactly what he wants to see after acknowledging its weaknesses. The Monagasque qualified seventh, while Sebastian Vettel failed to progress from the second qualifying round and lined up 11th.
“Charles put on a show yesterday in Austria, both in his ability to see the opportunities that came his way in the latter stages and, above all, in his defense when he was under attack from quicker cars in terms of pure speed,” Camilleri said. “He confirmed yet again his talent and determination to defend the colors of the Scuderia, even if there was no need of any further proof.
“It was a pity for Sebastian, who couldn’t show his best performance because he wasn’t comfortable with the balance of the car: now we are analyzing the data to understand the reasons why. We know there’s lots of work to do. This is certainly not the grid position that a team like Ferrari should have, and we have to respond immediately.
“It’s clear that we have to improve on all fronts. The only solution is to react, and I’m pleased by the immediate reaction and the work that Mattia (Binotto) and all his team are putting in at every level. This is not just to bring to the track today what was scheduled to be ready tomorrow, but also to speed up the program of development for the coming races.
“This is the response of a united team which is rolling up its sleeves and facing the problems head on, without crying about it. We are at the start of a new cycle with a long-term plan. Any setbacks will certainly not change our chosen course, and I have every confidence in Mattia and the team in addressing our shortcomings.”