Ferrari are reported to be preparing an evolution of their rear wing that they hope will help them reduce their deficit in a straight line to Red Bull.
Red Bull’s Honda engine has seemingly been the strongest this year, and across the three days at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, Ferrari were an average of 3.65kph slower than Red Bull in the speed trap.
This reduced massively from the near 20kmh deficit they experienced in Jeddah, which is indicative of two things.
The first is that the Scuderia’s setup is one of the most versatile on the grid; they can fluctuate between downforce and straight-line speed and remain competitive with Red Bull, and the second is that Ferrari have more power to play with if they want to use it.
Nonetheless, the Milton Keynes side has the fundamentally more powerful combination of chassis and engine, so this is something Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto would like to work on.
“Because that’s where we lose something in performance and we need to keep working on it,” he said.
Subsequently, the design of the rear wing will be tweaked ahead of Formula 1’s first-ever visit to Miami next weekend, in a move that they hope will increase their proficiency on the straights and flat-out sections, according to a report by Corriere della sera.
Red Bull brought an upgrade to Imola that reportedly took 5kg off their car, leaving both themselves and Ferrari at around 808kg, which is still 10kg over the limit under the new technical regulations.
The upgrade is thought to have gained the four-time constructors’ champions over two tenths of a second in lap time, and Binotto is acutely aware that the development race will be a critical one this year.
“Certainly they are strong and we know that they are developing the cars,” he told Sky Sports after the race in Bologna, from which Carlos Sainz crashed out and Charles Leclerc finished P6 after a spin of his own.
“Two weeks ago we were in Australia, we though we’ve got the best car.
“Today is the opposite, I think it will be a race-by-race [championship], the balance may change a bit but again here we have a good package overall, we are second in quali, in the wet conditions and in the dry I think we had a good sprint race.
“So overall I think again we can keep the smile. We know that developing will be a key element of the season, no doubt.
“We know that Red Bull will be very strong, they are coming back but again we will review the race of today and move forward.”
While Ferrari suffered a woeful day at their home race, Red Bull scored their first one-two since 2016 as Max Verstappen led home Sergio Perez, and they now sit 11 points behind Ferrari in the Constructors’ Championship.