Ferrari is not planning any significant updates at the first European race of the season due to the Sprint format of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.
Formula 1’s successful trial last year has led to another three Sprint events being confirmed for 2022, with the first taking place at Imola this weekend. The revised schedule has one practice session before qualifying on Friday afternoon, and Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto says the lack of practice time means it wouldn’t be the right race to introduce major new parts.
“I think it will be a difficult weekend in the respect of bringing updates and trying to evaluate them in the Friday practice because obviously, you need to focus yourself on the quali in the afternoon,” Binotto said. “If we look at ourselves, there will not be much in Imola because again, we believe it will not be the right place.
“We try to mitigate the issues we have seen so far, the porpoising and the bouncing that has affected our performance at the weekend. Again, we will try to work on that specific point, but the upgrades, and more significant ones, will be for later on in the season.”
Ferrari’s approach is made easier by a lack of urgency to address the bouncing issues it is suffering, with Charles Leclerc enjoying a comfortable lead in the drivers’ championship – something Binotto admits was unexpected.
“Yes, certainly surprised,” he said. “We worked hard and put a lot of priority on the 2022 (car). I knew that the team was a great team and we improved ourselves compared to the past seasons and was hoping to have a competitive car at the start of the season.
“When coming to the winter testing, we knew we had a competitive car but certainly I wasn’t expecting such a good start to the season; I think it would be unfair to think that. I still believe that the difference between us and the others can be very little. The first races have proved it, and it will be a great fight in the next races.”
Ferrari holds a lead of 39 points over Mercedes in the constructors’ championship, and 49 over Red Bull after the first three rounds of the season.