Ferrari to gain half-a-second via Barcelona upgrades

Ferrari and Red Bull have both brought significant upgrades to the Spanish Grand Prix this weekend.

Spanish Formula 1 journalist Albert Fabrega asserts that Ferrari’s upgrades must be effective in their quest to move back ahead of Red Bull on the timesheets.

Red Bull are reported to have lost 5kg this weekend with the upgrade they have brought to Barcelona after they lost 4-5kg with the one they introduced in Imola.

The previous evolution helped Max Verstappen to victory in both Bologna and Miami and, while Ferrari looked quick in qualifying as they locked out the front row in Florida, the superior pace of the Red Bull on the straight and in the slow corners overcame the Scuderia.

READ: Leclerc hoping Ferrari’s Barcelona upgrades will give them edge over Red Bull

The reigning champion’s relatively comfortable wins in each of the last two races will tell Ferrari that they must bounce back with an influential upgrade of their own, and this is exactly what they have tried to do with the new floor, revised rear wing and new diffuser they have put in the car.

According to a report by La Gazzetta dello Sport, the Italian team might gain nearly half a second per lap as a result, but Fabrega reveals it will simply be a waiting game to see how effective the adaptations are when the teams take to the track in anger in Spain.

“There is a pack coming to Barcelona, a big upgrade, apparently,” he told the F1 Nation Podcast.

“You [don’t] know the upgrades that are big or small till you put them on the track so we will see.

“We are expecting Ferrari to step forward. Because as we see on the last race, Red Bull is a little bit ahead of them in all senses.”

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Given that Red Bull have also lost weight this weekend, the Spaniard stresses that Ferrari’s gains will have to be significant.

“So they need a bigger step, I would say, if they want to keep that momentum to Red Bull to try to stay on top and keep that that leading position that they are on Constructors’ [Championship], and also in Drivers’ with Charles Leclerc,” he added.

Leclerc, who has won two races this year and leads the world championship, is hopeful that the upgrades can help lift his team above Red Bull.

“Hopefully it will be good ones and enough to be in front of Red Bull again,” he said.

“It’s been close since the beginning of the season and every time they’ve brought upgrades in the first part they’ve been closer and closer.

READ: The Fallows fallout: Aston Martin arrive in Barcelona with ‘green Red Bull’

“Now I think they are a bit in front definitely in terms of race pace, so I hope it will enough for us to jump back in front.”

Leclerc topped the first practice session in Spain on Friday, marginally clear of team-mate Carlos Sainz, with Verstappen just over three tenths back.