Scuderia Ferrari’s Head Of Power Unit Enrico Gualtieri wants his team to optimise its current package after the Italians failed to get a good result in the qualifying session for the Spanish Grand Prix which compromised their chances in the race.
Ferrari drivers Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel only managed to qualify ninth and eleventh respectively in the last qualifying session. Their SF1000 showed a much improved race pace during the 66-lap at Barcelona, but Leclerc encountered a technical issue on his car which saw him spin and stop on the track at Turn 15.
Enrico Gualtieri has revealed that Ferrari managed to identify the cause of the problem that was related to the electronics system of the car. „In Barcelona, we paid a high price for a lack of reliability, and in fact we have now identified the problem with the electronic control unit that caused Charles’ retirement.”
Ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix, Scuderia’s engine boss marked out maximazing the performance of the current package as the main target for Ferrari.
„But we also suffered from not maximising our qualifying performance, which put us in a difficult situation in the race. Aware of the current difficulties, we have to focus on our work in preparing for the weekend. The main aim is to ensure the drivers can get the most out of the SF1000.
„We must optimise the car-PU package, work well in the garage, define the best strategy and be efficient when it comes to reacting to changing conditions. Every thousandth of a second counts, every decision can make the difference".
Teams also need to define the best possible aerodynamic configuration for the Spa track which is not always the easiest of tasks given the layout of the 7.004km track. While the first and third sector require excellent top speed, the second sector of the track consists of medium and high-speed bends where downforce is of key importance.
„Even before the introduction of DRS, overtaking was relatively easy at this track, but it’s the choice of the aerodynamic downforce level that really makes the difference,” Gualtieri added.
„With low downforce, your top speed by the end of the Kemmel straight is very good, but then in the second sector, you run the risk of really struggling. However, if you opt for medium to high downforce, you might do well in qualifying but then in the race, you risk getting overtaken and above all, struggle to overtake even with DRS.”
Weather is always a main talking point at Spa with rain showers often making appearances at various points of the weekend. Due to the length of the circuit, it can also happen that certain parts of the track is damp while other segments are dry. For this weekend, the forcast is also uncertain with rain showers expected to hit the track on multiple occasions.
„To all this you can add unpredictable weather with different conditions at various points on the circuit, so the brain teaser is really complete. In fact, the forecast for this weekend suggests the weather will further complicate matters, with a mainly dry Saturday, but rain forecast for Sunday, with temperatures no higher than a decidedly not summery 16°C,” he concluded.