Formula 1

Ferrari in ‘race against time’ with upgrades

by Matt Beer
2 min read

Ferrari is in a “race against time” to bring updates to its 2020 Formula 1 car earlier than expected this weekend, while Mercedes plans to use back to back races at the Red Bull Ring to help it test new parts.

The Italian team said before the F1 season-opener that it was aiming to introduce “a significant change of direction” with its car for the third race of the season in Hungary, but following its performance last weekend in Austria Ferrari CEO Louis Camilleri urged the team to “bring to the track today what is ready tomorrow”.

As F1 prepares for another race at the Red Bull Ring this weekend, team boss Mattia Binotto said: “The factory is in full swing to try and come up with answers to the questions raised in the first grand prix.

“We knew we would have a tough start to the season and it was even more so than we had expected.

“That’s why we’re working flat out to try and already bring some of the updates due for Hungary to this next race.

“It’s a race against time but we’re doing our utmost.

“The fact we are racing again at the same track is a further reason to bring the updates here, so that we can confirm if they work and that our development direction is the right one.”

Charles Leclerc added: “Usually you arrive at the track with the previous year’s data and spend Friday understanding how your car is behaving.

“This time however, unless it’s wet, we will already have a lot of useful information as to how our car will behave. It will be an unusual experience.”

Mercedes plans new parts too

Valtteri Bottas Mercedes Austrian Grand Prix 2020

Mercedes trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin said the championship-leading team will try some new parts on Friday, and the opportunity to test the items back to back on the same circuit is further boosted by the tyre compounds being the same this weekend.

“There’s a few interesting things you get when you are at the same track,” he said.

“One is the drivers can look at the little bits they’ve learned in lines and things in the race, issues in qualifying, trying to understand how to finesse those.

“We’re also able to see how the car’s going to perform in what we think will be cooler conditions, so you can look at whether your performance is getting worse as it gets hotter or whether it gets better. That will be an interesting learning point.

“And then also because we have done a lot of homework on the tyres this week, we’ve got a few test items coming, so they are going to get built into the programme.

“So Friday is going to be a little bit of a day of learning and experimenting for us as well.”

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