Ferrari took to the Mugello Circuit in Italy to help Pirelli gain a further understanding of the 18-inch tyres this season.
The new tyres are bigger in terms of rim size, but now have smaller sidewalls, increasing the stiffness of the carcass.
This naturally means that there is more pressure in the tyre than there was before, making them less abrasive with the track surface.
This, coupled with the ground effect aerodynamics, has helped the cars follow more closely and, subsequently, has increased the longevity of race battles.
What Pirelli motorsport boss Mario Isola might not have quite foreseen though, was the “porpoising” and bouncing the teams have experienced as a result of the lower ride heights and the revised aerodynamics.
This oscillating movement leaves question marks as to whether the tyres are behaving differently as a result.
This was one of the things Pirelly tried to figure out when they sent Ferrari pair Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz onto the track in Mugello – the home of the Scuderia’s 1000th race in 2020.
Isola’s engineers, according to Motorsport.com, put more downforce on the cars after teams began to develop an ability to run the cars lower having figured out a solution to “porpoising.”
The data they might not have collected was how to find grip with stiff suspension – something Mercedes started struggling with when they lowered their car after the Spanish Grand Prix.
Either way, it will have been good for the Ferrari pair to get an outing in Tuscany as they look to get their first win since the third round of this season in Melbourne.
A series of reliability issues and strategic issues from the Scuderia have exacerbated a deficit to Red Bull on race pace recently, so Leclerc now trails Max Verstappen by 49 points in the Drivers’ Standings.
Former Ferrari driver Jean Alesi has praised Leclerc’s attitude amid the hardships, and assures that there is a long way to go in the season.
“Leclerc is right when he shows beautiful optimism. Such a tight championship puts a strain on gearboxes, engines, hydraulics, everything,” wrote the Frenchman in his Corriere della Sera column.
“Technical troubles have come and will come for every team, we are not even halfway through the championship.
“There will be plenty of time and opportunities to recover, starting with the next round at Silverstone, a track that exalts champions.”
Ferrari also trail Red Bull by 76 points having watched Verstappen and Sergio Perez take the last six wins between them.