Updated on 05/11/2022 at 14:17
- Red Bull Racing has overtaken Ferrari in terms of performance after five races, but the advantage is only minimal.
- Now that Ferrari is in demand, the Italians would like to bring a few upgrades to the car for the next race in Barcelona.
- Team manager Mattia Binotto also hopes that the opponent’s budget limit will soon become an issue.
Max Verstappen was exhausted after his victory at the Miami GP, but still aggressive. The Dutchman finally tasted blood after the false start to the Formula 1 season. That is why he took the opportunity to give his team the route he should take for the next races. “We are fast, but we really need to get the stability issues under control,” said the world champion. And stressed, after his second victory in a row, he was able to reduce the distance to championship leader Charles Leclerc to 19 points: “There is definitely a lot of potential, we just have to make sure the car is reliable.”
For now, the racer from Red Bull Racing seems to have a slight advantage in the duel with the Ferrari, after first being behind the Scuderia. “Red Bull has improved its car,” said Ferrari team manager Mattia Binotto. “Since the start of the season, they’ve introduced upgrades, and if I look back on the last two races, they may have been a few tenths a lap faster than us,” he said.
Minimal advantage for Verstappen
This is probably due to the fact that Red Bull Racing is generally a little faster than the Ferrari in the straight races, but was also on a par with the Reds in the slow turns. Verstappen’s team has improved the car’s aerodynamics over the last few weeks, as well as reduced the weight, which helps in the turns. In addition, the tire breakdown is not as high as at Ferrari, which allowed Verstappen to attack Leclerc decisively in Miami despite starting as number three during the race.
However, the persistent concern of failures persists. Verstappen had no problems in Miami, but so did his teammate Sergio Pérez, who had problems with a sensor on the engine. The team was able to prevent the Mexican from dropping out, but Pérez missed the podium in fourth place, which would have been very possible if the sensor had not worked.
Nevertheless: Red Bull Racing has developed an advantage in the duel with Ferrari, though only a minimal one. Wonder how long it will last? “Now we have to keep up the pressure,” Leclerc said, adding that upgrades to the car would be “very important” in the battle for the title. And he assumes that Ferrari can “take a step forward” in Barcelona in two weeks. Binotto also knows that one has to bring updates to the car “to keep up the pace”.
Keep an eye on the cost
These would be the first major improvements of the F1-75. The big difference to the past: While in the past it was often a development struggle, other things are important today. Because in times of the upper budget limit, timing is also important. “We have to try to focus the development on when we think it’s the right time and the right consumption,” Binotto said. The teams have a total of $ 140 million available in 2022. Any development error is not only painful from a sporting standpoint, it is also doubly expensive. Literally.
That’s why you need to pay attention to the money at Red Bull Racing. “I hope Red Bull stops the development at some point, because there is also a budget limit, otherwise I do not understand how they can do it. It is certainly a concern they have,” Binotto said. Red Bulls team manager Christian Horner confirms it: “Under the budget ceiling, it’s hard to bring ongoing updates, especially with rising inflation, which is brutal,” he said.
New parts must fit
The Ferrari challenge: The new parts on the car need to fit. The situation allows for crucial advantages or disadvantages in the title fight. Leclerc is “confident in my team and I’m sure they will bring us back to the top. I hope these upgrades will help us challenge Red Bull again.” Time flies – because Verstappen has long since tasted blood again.
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