Ferrari is hoping to improve some of the weaknesses on its 2020 car with the upgrade package it will introduce at the Russian Grand Prix this weekend.
Podiums for Charles Leclerc in Austria and Silverstone have been highlights of an otherwise difficult season for Ferrari, which scored just five points across the recent Spa-Monza-Mugello tripleheader. Sporting director Laurent Mekies said that the new parts being introduced in Sochi are designed to address the weak points in the car that have been identified over the past few months.
“The first part of the season proved to be very difficult for the Scuderia, as can be seen from the results,” Mekies said. “But it’s not in our nature to give up under any circumstances. That’s the spirit in which we approach the Sochi weekend, even if in the short time we’ve been coming here, the track has never been too favorable for us. We will do our best, aware that at the moment, we are up against a lot of stiff opposition.
“We will be introducing a few small aero updates on the SF1000, as part of the plan which extends over the next few races to correct as far as possible the weaknesses seen in recent races, particularly with a view to 2021.
“We’re not expecting this small package to make a big change but it will allow us to check its functionality and give us a baseline for future developments.”
After a difficult last race at Mugello, where he ran as high as third for a spell but rapidly dropped back through the field, Leclerc admits that it has been tough for Ferrari to remain positive when the team is struggling so much.
“It’s very difficult at the moment,” Leclerc said. “You do a good start, you put yourself in the best possible position, but then you don’t have the pace to keep those positions. I want to try and fight as much as I can but this is what I can do.
“It’s very though at the moment but we need to keep our head up, stay motivated – it’s been quite a few races I’ve been saying that, but that’s important in tough times – and and hopefully we’ll see better times coming.”