It always seems to be the case that when we record our podcast on Monday evenings, by Tuesday morning, the very thing we were discussing becomes a talking point. Such is life, timing is not our friend and while we pondered if Ferrari could make any ground during the lockdown with their ailing SF1000, just a few hours after releasing our podcast the team announce a new plan.
You see, Ferrari were struggling in testing with pace and a lack of grip from their chassis and while many were expecting the team to make a serious jump forward in performance, testing suggested the opposite. So much so that many pundits had Red Bull leading Ferrari coming out of the final test in Barcelona.
It was difficult to know for certain, as testing usually is challenging to discern, but Ferrari’s decided to, effectively, re-design their entire 2020 car and will have it ready by the Hungarian Grand Prix.
“This weekend the car will run in the same configuration used towards the end of the Barcelona tests,” team boss Mattia Binotto said in a team preview.
“This doesn’t mean we have been twiddling our thumbs in the very limited time of just five and a half weeks in which we were able to work on the cars, because of the stringent procedures involved in working around the pandemic as well as the total shutdown of activities required by the FIA in agreement with the teams.
“The truth is that the outcome of the tests led us to take a significant change of direction in terms of development, especially on the aerodynamic front.
“First, we had to understand why we did not see the results we had expected on track and how much to recalibrate the whole program as a result.
“It would have been counterproductive to continue in the direction we had planned, knowing that we would not have reached our goals.
“Therefore we decided to come up with a new program that looked at the whole car, knowing that not all of it would be ready for the first race. Our aim is to introduce the updates at the third race on 19 July at the Hungaroring.”
The article at Autosport goes on to explain how they are viewing the circuit and chances in Austria and if you asked me, which undoubtably you’re not, I would say that Ferrari has taken a look at the remnant of a truncated season, realized the circuits that are no longer on the calendar, which ones might still be eliminated and re-imagined a car that will perform better at types of circuits F1 will race this season.
Austria, Hungary and Barcelona are not high-speed circuits whereas Silverstone, Belgium and Monza are all three very fast circuits. Both Austria and Silverstone will host two races each and Ferrari has to have assessed their chassis, the deficiencies and these first eight races and made this decision.
Hat Tip: Autosport