Ferrari to hold fire on F1-75 upgrades for now
The Maranello-based team had a hugely encouraging first test in Barcelona in Spain last week, with Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc consistently top of the timesheets throughout the three-day session.
But while the new F1-75 appeared to be in good shape compared to its main rivals Mercedes and Red Bull, the situation could change significantly in Bahrain if, as suggested, the other teams release updates.
Paddock speculation at Barcelona testing has suggested that Red Bull and Mercedes are waiting for Bahrain testing to reveal some of their more aggressive aero developments which they hope will help them start the season on top.
Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto is aware of the potential for improvement from Mercedes and Red Bull, but still believes his own team can squeeze a lot more performance out of their current F1-75.
Speaking of the car’s plan for Bahrain testing, Binotto said: “It won’t be much different from what we have.
“I think the first step for us will be to optimize what we have. We are still a long way from the best performance, not only because we are using a lot of fuel and not the best engine mode, but simply because there is a lot to exploit.” more of the car itself.
“We are more focused on that one [extracting more pace], not only in terms of setup engineering, but also in terms of riding style and the riders themselves. So let’s wait, let’s see what others will bring.
“Certainly, as Ferrari, we are always concerned about the improvements of our competitors. And I’m pretty sure they will be very, very strong by then.”
Binotto said he was encouraged by the way the F1-75 performed in testing and that the correlation between track performance and factory data was good.
“In terms of mileage, we did a lot of laps,” he said. “What’s important from day one, from morning one, is that we’re collecting data.
“I think it was important because these cars are so different and the first goal is to try to learn them. So the goal at least this [test] was really trying to map the car in all conditions, and trying to figure out the correlations with the wind tunnel and the simulator.
“So far we have certainly collected a lot of data. This correlation will be an exercise for the next few days in Maranello, and to really try to cross-reference all the data.”