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Monday, April 15, 2024

The Ferrari race sim providing clues to its Crimson Bull-beating potential

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It’s why Ferrari duo Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc popping out on prime of the general timing sheets over the course of this week’s Bahrain take a look at has barely registered in conversations.

Sainz’s total test-topping time of 1m29.921s, set on the second day, was round seven-tenths quicker than the Crimson Bull benchmark of 1m30.679s set by Sergio Perez on the identical afternoon.

Nonetheless, nobody is suggesting that it has any resemblance to the true image of efficiency (even making an allowance for a 0.6s time distinction within the tyre compounds they used).

PLUS: Why it’s a Red Bull vs Ferrari battle in F1 2024 testing’s long run times

Certainly, the consensus among the many paddock is that Crimson Bull is clearly going into subsequent weekend’s F1 season opener because the staff to beat.

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What will not be so positive, although, is strictly how massive its benefit is, as a result of there’s one other Sainz factor to the Bahrain take a look at that has supplied F1 loads of meals for thought of the place the aggressive image lies between his Ferrari staff and Crimson Bull.

As groups crunched via the info, it was a race-sim run from Sainz on the second night, operating in related however not similar circumstances to Perez on the identical programme, that supplied some intrigue about simply how good the brand new SF-24 could also be.

Carlos Sainz, Ferrari SF-24

Picture by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

In pure lap time, the timing sheets recommended it was benefit Ferrari, the truth is. Over the three race stints, Sainz proved to be faster than the Crimson Bull.

The Spaniard’s benefit on the C3 averaged simply greater than 0.4 seconds – and stretched to multiple second on their remaining stints, which had been each on the C1 arduous compound.

The dimensions of that benefit was so excessive that it nearly actually factors to Perez having run heavier on gasoline. With it broadly accepted that 10kg of weight equates to round 0.3 seconds of lap time round Bahrain, there’s fairly a excessive diploma of variability to be precisely positive of how a lot of a practical image their two runs supplied.

However one factor will not be unsure from the Sainz race sim – that the excessive tyre degradation which derailed a lot of Ferrari’s 2023 marketing campaign seems to have been cured.

Sainz’s kind was extremely constant. Taking a look at his remaining stint on the C1 specifically, it was a world away from how issues performed out in final yr’s Bahrain Grand Prix, when each he and Leclerc struggled massively with tyre degradation.

His run on the C1 performed out like this: 35.5, 35.7, 35.5, 35.6, 35.3, 35.4, 35.5, 35.2, 35.3, 35.1, 35.2, 35.2, 35.1, 35.1, 34.9, 35.3, 35.8, 35.5, 35.6.

Carlos Sainz, Ferrari SF-24

Carlos Sainz, Ferrari SF-24

Picture by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images

For staff boss Fred Vasseur, it’s this consistency – and the truth that each drivers can really feel the development with the automobile – that has been a extra necessary sign from the take a look at than any quantity comparisons between Ferrari and Crimson Bull.

“Earlier than the lengthy stint, an important was the suggestions from Carlos and Charles that they’re in a a lot better place with the automobile,” he stated. “It’s far more in keeping with much less degradation.

“I feel that is necessary for the race for positive. However now it is a little more troublesome to know precisely the place we’re by way of pure efficiency, as a result of with the extent of gasoline we are able to play quite a bit, and I feel no person is aware of precisely the place we’re comparatively.”

Certainly, groups are nicely versed within the artwork of misdirection in testing, to strive to not alert rivals as to what they’re as much as.

Verstappen specifically did a number of lengthy runs on Friday, however every time was crammed up fairly a bit in a bid to not exhibit the total potential of the automobile. He was quick and tremendous constant – certainly there was even a component of damaging deg by way of lap instances dropping over the stint because the gasoline got here off.

Curiously, he was additionally comparatively sluggish via the pace traps whereas doing this, which hinted that engine modes could nicely have been turned down too.

Watch: Time for the Debrief – F1 2024 Pre Season Testing Day 3 Response

For now, Ferrari is inspired by what it has heard from its drivers and what it noticed from that Sainz long term on Thursday. However deep uncertainty stays over what Crimson Bull was actually as much as within the take a look at with its gasoline masses.

As Vasseur defined about whether or not he thinks Crimson Bull is miles clear: “In the event that they run with 20 kilos we’re in a good condition, but when they run with 80kg we’re nowhere. No one is aware of besides them.

“However in the event you begin to get an excessive amount of give attention to the others, you might be shedding somewhat bit the paths of your selections.

“We had an extended listing of things to tick and the testing to cowl and we had been targeted on this. In a single week’s time now, we may have an enormous reply!”

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