Ferrari will have a set of upgrades at next weekend’s Russian Grand Prix but team principal Mattia Binotto has warned they won’t have a major impact on the team’s performance.
2020 has been a particularly disappointing year for Ferrari, with this year’s car well off the pace and lacking power unit performance. The end result is the Scuderia currently sits sixth in the constructors’ championship and just 13 points ahead of AlphaTauri, and while there will be new parts in Sochi next week Binotto is keen to keep expectations in check.
“There will be small upgrades, but this will not change the big picture,” Binotto said. “I think we are at the moment out of pace in the race, and we are somehow wearing the tires too much. So the upgrades will not be the ones that address it. We need to review projects with the view to 2021. I think it will take some more time to do it.”
The upgrades come at a time when Formula 1 has just completed a brutal schedule of nine races in 11 weeks to start the 2020 season, limiting the window in which to get new parts to the track between races while also pushing the teams to their limits trackside.
Although the past two races have also seen a total of three red flag periods — one in Monza when Charles Leclerc crashed and two in Mugello after a safety car restart incident and a crash for Lance Stroll — Sebastian Vettel doesn’t believe the condensed calendar is playing any part in the stoppages.
“It’s certainly tough, but I think the chances to have a red flag and various red flags in a race is generally quite low, so I don’t think it’s due to that,” Vettel said. “Obviously it was absolutely right to call for the red flag after Charles crashed, and again (at Mugello), so there was no other choice — I think in both cases it was the right action.
“Everybody is performing on the limit, trying to do everything, but I don’t think the crashes or the red flags are a consequence of the fact that we have tripleheaders, tripleheaders, tripleheaders.”