The car has often exhibited a quick one-lap pace, a characteristic that was yet again apparent at the Spanish Grand Prix, where Carlos Sainz claimed the second position during qualifiers.
Nevertheless, Ferrari persistently faces challenges during races, with the vehicle’s performance varying between individual stints.
At Barcelona, Sainz experienced a setback, dropping to the fifth position by the end of the race. Meanwhile, Charles Leclerc, starting from the pit lane due to qualifying hiccups, was unable to climb higher than 11th place.
Both drivers had to contend with temperamental cars.
“The main problem we’re facing isn’t so much about lap potential, or specific corner types,” Vasseur explained. “It’s the inconsistency that’s the real issue.”
He provided examples, explaining, “For instance, Charles’s car balance was off in the first stint and merely satisfactory in the third, despite using the same compound. As for Carlos, he had a respectable first stint and a good final one, but lost a significant 15-20 seconds to his rivals during the middle stint.”
Vasseur admitted that understanding and addressing these problems were challenging because they weren’t always the same or related to the same issues.
He dismissed the notion that tyre degradation was the primary concern in Spain.
“I wouldn’t put it down to tyre wear. Increased tyre wear could potentially occur if we push harder, but that’s not the primary concern here.
Carlos managed to maintain a respectable pace during the final few laps, suggesting we aren’t necessarily losing our tyres. Charles had balance complaints from the get-go, which persisted throughout the race,” he explained.
Vasseur also dismissed the idea that the car performed worse when in dirty air.
“In qualifiers, you have the advantage of clean air, which isn’t always the case during races. This could be a factor, but considering Carlos’s disastrous second stint even in clean air, it’s unlikely the primary issue.”
The team conceded that more developmental attention needed to be devoted to resolving this consistency problem.
“Maybe we need to shift some developmental focus onto improving consistency and creating a more manageable vehicle,” he proposed. “That’s the approach we’ve adopted in recent months or weeks.
“I believe we’re gradually becoming more consistent. However, the problem is primarily chassis-related, varying more from stint to stint rather than persisting consistently.
“We’ve also had challenging stints in clean air, as was the case with Carlos’s second stint.”
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Ferrari F1 Car Performance Inconsistency
Why is Ferrari struggling with their F1 car performance?
Ferrari is grappling with an inconsistency issue in their F1 car’s performance during races. Despite the car showing quick one-lap pace, the performance varies between different race stints. This leads to unpredictability and difficulty in maintaining consistent race pace.
What is the main issue Ferrari is facing?
The main issue Ferrari is facing is performance inconsistency during races. Even with the same car and tyre compound, the vehicle’s balance and pace can change drastically from one stint to another. This results in significant time loss and affects the overall race strategy.
Is the issue related to tyre degradation?
According to the team’s spokesperson, Vasseur, tyre degradation is not the primary issue. Despite potential increases in tyre wear if they push harder, he asserts that the issue is more complex and involves more factors, such as the car’s balance and performance consistency.
Is the problem more apparent in ‘dirty air’ conditions?
Vasseur dismissed the idea that the car’s performance is primarily affected by ‘dirty air’ conditions, i.e., when following closely behind another car. He notes that even in ‘clean air’, the car’s performance can still be inconsistent.
What steps is Ferrari planning to take to resolve this issue?
Ferrari plans to shift some developmental focus onto improving consistency and creating a more manageable vehicle. This includes tackling issues more related to the chassis and performance variability from stint to stint.