While Ferrari is set to bring new parts to its troublesome 2020 F1 car, the reigning world champion team Mercedes is to abandon the development work with its dominant W11.
After having dominated Formula One since the introduction of the hybrid power units in 2014, Mercedes turned up this year with another successful car. In fact, the W11 helped the Brackley-based team dominate the sport more than ever with Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas securing the pole position at every round so far.
Qualifying has been turned into Mercedes’ playground this season. The average qualifying deficit of their actual fastest rival was 715 thousands of a second across the first eleven race weekends with the biggest difference on dry track recorded at the British Grand Prix where the third-placed Max Verstappen was 1.022 seconds off the pole position time.
Mercedes’ insurmountable dominance urged the team to rethink its upgrade programme for its current machine. As the Anglo-German team leads the Constructors’ Championship on 391 points with Red Bull second on 211 points, Mercedes has decided to stop its development programme for 2020.
Team Principal Toto Wolff has confirmed that „we finished them (upgrades) a long time ago. That has always been in the past what we looked [to do]. It's a very, let's say, thoroughly thought-through decision, because not in every championship can you afford to close the book early.
“But the rules change quite a lot for next year, and in that respect we decided, like in the previous years, to switch to next year's car, and this is why you can see that shift in performance between the teams. I think we always have a very strong start and middle of the season, and then whoever continues to develop is strong at the end,” Wolff is quoted as saying by formula1.com.
On the other hand, Ferrari has just geared up its upgrade programme for its woeful SF1000. After realizing correlation problems early on during per-season testing, the Scuderia tried to iron out the difficulties regarding its computer simulations during the first part of the championship.
The Maranello-based team then introduced the first package of significant upgrades at the Russian Grand Prix where it debuted modifications to the rear wing, the under-nose cape and the nose profile. The Scuderia continued its development work at the Eifel Grand Prix, bringing new parts for the so far troublesome SF1000 that featured new bargeboards and slight modifications to the front of the floor at the Nurburgring.
Team Principal Mattia Binotto confirmed that the upgrades worked as expected, indicating that the development work is heading in the right direction. The Swiss-Italian has also disclosed that the team would introduce further upgrades at the next grands prix.
„Of course, we are not satisfied with this result, but we continue to work on improving our overall performance level. We saw signs of progress in qualifying, but the important thing is that the updates we are introducing seem to be going in the right direction, especially looking ahead to 2021. In the light of this, we should also have a few updates for the next race in Portimao."