In qualifying, no one can match the engine performance of Ferrari. On one lap the Maranello team’s ‘red rockets’ can use up to 40 HP extra. Strangely, this boost disappeares during the race. At the British Grand Prix, AMuS asked the obvious question: why are the Ferrari on the straights so slow? Charles Leclerc took ten laps to pass Pierre Gasly, eventually needing a cheeky movie in Turn 3 to overtake the Red Bull. “On the straights no chance,” the Monegasque driver admitted. Not even with the help of DRS.
Sebastian Vettel had the same experience. When Max Verstappen in the eleventh lap misjudged an attack on Charles Leclerc, he suddenly had Sebastian Vettel on his neck. The German came to the Wellington straight with a clear surplus, moved almost to the same height on the right, but then suddenly lost ground in the second half of the straight. Both were traveling with open DRS.
When Verstappen attacked the German in the 37th round on the hangar straight, he flew past the Ferrari, as if it were parked. This time with advantage DRS. Nevertheless, the speed surplus was obvious. That’s quite surprising. In qualifying, the two Ferrari drives are not matched on the straights, as the lead on the Mercedes and Red Bull is depending on the distance between three to eight tenths.
Part of this is explained by the lower air resistance of the Ferrari SF90 compared to its competitors. But this advantage should actually be available on Sunday. Mercedes engineers have found out from GPS measurements that “Ferrari can use up to 30 kilowatts extra on selected laps in practice” That’s 40 hp. A lot of power.
Power boost disappears in the race
We remember how much effort Sebastian Vettel had in Paul Ricard, despite the softest tire mix just before the checkered flag to drive the fastest lap of the race. Later we were told that the battery was not at full power.
The statistics support the thesis of Mercedes. Ferrari achieved the highest top speed in qualifying six times out of ten. In the race only twice. In these two cases, the slipstream helped with the results, as Sebastian Vettel had to recover in Paul Ricard and Spielberg from bad starting places through the field. Ferrari finished five races in the top speed table only taking into consideration the midfield.
Melbourne was a complete failure for Ferrari, since the engines ran because of technical problems only on narrow gauge program. For Mercedes, the races in France and Austria are not suitable for a representative comparison due to the fact that when it gets hot, Mercedes has to drastically slow down the performance in the race. They lost in comparison to themselves from Saturday to Sunday in the double-digit range.
More downforce at the expense of drag
Jul 22, 2019Scuderia Fans
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