Ferrari fast-track car upgrades for Styrian Grand Prix

By Sports Desk July 07, 2020

Ferrari will fast-track some of their car upgrades for this week's Styrian Grand Prix at Red Bull Ring.

The Scuderia were scheduled to introduce aerodynamic upgrades at the Hungarian Grand Prix in round three of the Formula One campaign, having identified major shortcomings in pre-season testing.

But they will now bring in new parts for the second of two consecutive races in Spielberg after their performance issues were even worse than initially expected in the season-opening Austrian Grand Prix.

It will not be the complete new package, nor will it solve their issues with straight-line speed – where Ferrari estimate they are losing 0.8 seconds per lap – but the team expect it will move Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel further up the grid.

The drivers struggled in qualifying on Saturday, coming seventh and 11th respectively, with Vettel failing to reach Q3.

A dramatic race which featured nine retirements and a time penalty for Lewis Hamilton then saw Leclerc claim a surprise second-place finish, with Vettel taking a solitary point in 10th.

"The SF1000 didn't measure up, even compared to [the lowered] expectations ahead of the event," read a statement from Ferrari.

"Because of this, development has already been going on at full pace for some time.

"This is in the hope of bringing forward to next weekend the introduction of the aerodynamic package scheduled for the Hungarian Grand Prix - or, at least, some of its components."

Of the expected impact of the changes, Ferrari added: "It's not that these new parts are expected to completely bridge the gap compared to the front of the grid. 

"But the progress in terms of lap time could allow the team to move up the order and put the drivers in a better condition to be able to display their talent.

"Moreover, it's about checking that the chosen direction of development is the right one, precisely because it will be possible to do a true back-to-back on every upgrade."

The move came as Ferrari CEO Louis Camilleri expressed his backing for team principal Mattia Binotto.

"We know there is lots of work to do," he said. "This is certainly not the grid position that a team like Ferrari should have and we have to respond immediately. 

"It is clear that we have to improve on all fronts. The only solution is to react and I'm pleased by the immediate reaction and the work that Mattia and all his team are putting in at every level."

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