Leclerc and Sainz set for Barcelona boost as Ferrari bring upgrade

The majority of the teams will be bringing upgrades as the Formula 1 circus delves into the European season.

Ferrari are expected to get 2kg closer to the 798kg limit with the changes they are set to introduce to the F1-75 at next weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix.

The Scuderia have not yet put any major changes onto the chassis of their 2022 challenger, although they have moved both Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc onto a new power unit, which they were permitted to adapt under the reliability exemption set out by the FIA amid the engine freeze until the end of 2025.

Red Bull brought changes to the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix that reduced the weight of the RB18 by up to 5kg, and the estimated two-tenth gain they enjoyed as a result has helped Max Verstappen win each of the last two races, while also picking up the sprint win in Bologna.

READ: Red Bull to shed weight in Barcelona as Ferrari bring ‘important’ upgrade

Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto has previously affirmed his belief that Red Bull will eventually have to “stop developing” after firing early with their first upgrades, but the Italian outfit are set to respond with tweaks to the wings and sidepods that are set to lose them weight.

The Ferrari was generally perceived to be lighter than the Red Bull to begin with, but the exact quantities are unknown.

Either way, Binotto is aware that Red Bull’s pace in the last two events mean that Ferrari must come up with a solution that takes them back above their championship rivals on the timesheets.

“In the next races it will be at least our turn to try to develop as much as we can the car by introducing upgrades,” he explained.

“I think it’s not a surprise that we may have a package in Barcelona which will be important for us.

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“As usual I hope that the package we are introducing is working as expected in order to try to catch up the current gap we’ve got compared to the Red Bull.” journalist Giuliano Duchessa predicts that the Maranello outfit will gain three tenths of a second in lap time but Dr Helmut Marko indicated that the changes his Red Bull team are bringing next weekend will get them to their “optimum weight.”

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Ferrari lead Red Bull by six points in the Constructors’ Championship after Charles Leclerc’s two victories, but the picture might have looked different had Red Bull’s reliability treated them better.

As a result, the upgrade battle heading into Barcelona will be a crucial one as the teams get their first chance to cross reference their current iterations with the ones they ran in the first pre-season test.