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Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Does Ferrari have an F1 engine energy drawback in qualifying?

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For the Emilia-Romagna occasion, Ferrari had arrived on the first of two residence races fielding appreciable consideration given its complete first improve package deal was being unleashed.

Whereas it led the best way in Friday apply final weekend, it fell behind Pink Bull and McLaren in each qualifying and the race.

However Ferrari group boss Fred Vasseur was adamant that “if we do 1-2 in quali, we do 1-2 within the race”. Leclerc, in the meantime, felt “the race tempo was fairly robust – we [just] lacked in qualifying”.

After ending up fourth in that session behind Max Verstappen and McLaren pair Oscar Piastri and Lando Norris, Leclerc initially directed blame in the direction of having “essentially the most margin for enchancment within the first sector throughout qualifying” in comparison with his rivals.

This, he stated, was relating to one thing he felt had been occurring “the previous few” occasions. That prompt an extension of his early-2024 drawback with nailing tyre preparation for qualifying laps.

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However post-race, Leclerc opened up on the place he felt Ferrari’s weekend had gone awry – placing the blame squarely on Ferrari’s electrical power deployment settings at a observe the place prime velocity is considerably rewarded.

“For some purpose we had a barely completely different energy technique in comparison with McLaren and Pink Bull,” Leclerc stated. “We misplaced every little thing on the run all the way down to Flip 2.”

Charles Leclerc, Scuderia Ferrari, third place, waves from the rostrum

Picture by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

When requested about Leclerc’s feedback, suggesting it was one thing the Monegasque driver wished on the market, Vasseur was reasonably extra circumspect.

“It was true [in qualifying], however for various causes,” stated the Frenchman. “Primarily as a result of Max had a mega slipstream from the start-and-finish line to Flip 1.

“But it surely’s true that he had a greater velocity till Flip 1 on the quali lap, that we have to change our strategy, to do [things] otherwise.”

Given Leclerc’s insistence that the issue had occurred at earlier occasions, we are able to use automotive GPS information to see if this declare stacks up.

At Imola, Leclerc gave away practically 4mph to Verstappen whereas beginning his quickest flying lap in qualifying and on this was additionally 6.2mph down in prime velocity comparability.

However right here Verstappen should be discounted as a result of, as Vasseur highlights, he was receiving a big tow achieve from Nico Hulkenberg’s Haas.

In comparison with the McLarens, the information exhibits Leclerc was 2.5mph down at first of the lap and 2mph down in prime velocity general, with Piastri offering the comparability.

Rewind to Miami, the place Leclerc certified second behind Verstappen, and there’s one other distinction between their quickest laps speeds.

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF-24 and Carlos Sainz, Ferrari SF-24

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF-24 and Carlos Sainz, Ferrari SF-24

Picture by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

On the Exhausting Rock Stadium their beginning speeds had Leclerc 1.2mph down at first of the lap, with a prime velocity later of 193.2mph and Max’s was 196.4mph.

Given Verstappen has taken pole for each spherical up to now this marketing campaign, as a part of his record-equalling run of eight poles to sit down alongside Ayrton Senna’s streak from 1988-89, he’s the important thing reference for the opposite 2024 races too.

In China, Leclerc confronted a beginning lap deficit of 0.6mph, with a prime velocity hole of two.5mph, which was 1.2mph and 1.2mph in Japan, 4.3mph and a pair of.5mph in Australia, 3.7mph and 1.9mph in Jeddah, and 4.3mph and 1.9mph for the Bahrain season opener.

Including Carlos Sainz within the different Ferrari and the information exhibits he typically tracks the identical as Leclerc in opposition to Verstappen, however on two events there are notable variations.

In Miami, Sainz went from beginning 2.5mph down on Verstappen to bettering his prime velocity by 0.6mph, whereas in Bahrain the Spaniard began 1.9mph down on the Pink Bull however was 2.5mph up on his team-mate and once more ended up heading Verstappen at their energy peaks.

There are different components at play in these figures – together with getting the tyres in the very best working window to offer a grip launch onto straights to begin qualifying, which Leclerc admitted he was scuffling with on the marketing campaign’s graduation.

However that is additionally a giant think about Bahrain too given the difficult nature of preserving the tyres alive there, whereas in Miami hitting the vital tyre efficiency temperature window was inconsistent throughout the sector.

Carlos Sainz, Ferrari SF-24

Carlos Sainz, Ferrari SF-24

Picture by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

Australia – together with Jeddah and Bahrain – additionally has the start-finish line a great distance down the respective straights, which should be factored into any studying of this information given the RB20 is once more a really aerodynamically environment friendly Pink Bull creation with its potent DRS system at play too.

The tow issue from vehicles ending laps forward of drivers should even be remembered too.

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However what this information exhibits is that there typically is a slight beginning velocity distinction between the Pink Bull and Ferrari vehicles, together with the continuing development of the Pink Bull hitting the next prime velocity general.

This combines with Vasseur’s pledge to make what adjustments are potential – through software program mapping updates – to an engine that has traction features as an essential power for upcoming occasions.

However no matter Ferrari does subsequent on this entrance, at the least the tight confines of Monaco this weekend imply engine grunt just isn’t the important thing defining component for succeeding on Leclerc’s residence streets.

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