Ferrari have done a terrific job of making sure the upgrades they bring to races work well for them, and they have more room to manoeuvre as a result, says Auto Motor und Sport journalist Michael Schmidt.
While Red Bull have been busy bringing key upgrades to several races this season, Ferrari’s progress and development has been a lot steadier.
Charles Leclerc won two of the opening three rounds of the season in Bahrain and Red Bull, and the Austrian side suffered three reliability failures in as many races as both Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez became victims of issues in their Honda power units.
Since the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, however, the Milton Keynes side have won seven races – all consecutive – completely turning the championship on its head in the process.
The Scuderia have had reliability troubles of their own to contend with of late, but their race pace in Canada and Austria seemed better than that of Red Bull, so the sparce changes they have made in Maranello have been working.
“Ferrari doesn’t bring many upgrades but the ones they do bring work,” said Schmidt.
“Perhaps their best upgrade was the new rear wing in Montreal, it’s a bit more efficient & reduced the top speed deficit and that gives Ferrari more freedom in the setup now.”
Chassis and aerodynamics have not been the problem lately for the Italian team; four reliability failures in six races between Leclerc and Carlos Sainz are plenty proof of that.
Team principal Mattia Binotto was left ruing their issues after Sainz pulled off with a fire in the back of his car having looked set to pass Verstappen and ensure Ferrari’s second one-two of the season having won the weekend prior in Silverstone.
While the 52-year-old could not diagnose the issue with the Spaniard’s engine after the race, he did affirm that the team would work as hard as they can to dispel the gremlins.
“I cannot yet because I think we need to look at the car and at the parts and try to understand what happened,” explained Binotto after the race.
“But reliability remains a concern, I think the reason why we are not fully happy today, somehow disappointed, is because it could have been even a better Sunday.
“Maybe a one-two certainly could have been possible today and that would have been great but, having said that, I think there are a lot of positives from today.
“We’re keeping focused and [we will] keep pushing because it’s the only thing we can do.”
Leclerc took victory in Spielberg as the 24-year-old earned his first victory since the Australian Grand Prix in round three.