We’re five races into the 2019 Formula 1 season and it’s already looking like a blowout. To make matters worse for the likes of Ferrari and Red Bull, the two teams with realistic podium aspirations, rivals Mercedes have managed to secure an unprecedented five straight 1-2 finishes.
While Ferrari might actually have the best power unit on the grid, their aerodynamic package has proven to be a disappointment, as they haven’t been able to extract the most from their tires.
The Scuderia struggled to get the tires into the right operating window in Australia, China and Spain, and while Bahrain and Baku were more to their liking in terms of circuit layout and track surface, they still couldn’t snatch victory away from Mercedes.
Now, according to team boss Mattia Binotto, Ferrari have made gains in understanding what their problem is.
“Last week’s testing in Barcelona and analyses carried out in Maranello confirmed just how much this year’s tires, which are very different to those we had in 2018, require different mechanical and aerodynamic settings to work properly. We are already working in Maranello on evaluating new concepts, as well as bringing some initial further updates here.”
Next up on the calendar is Monaco, a street circuit that allows for little overtaking opportunities, which means that Qualifying is incredibly important.
“It’s a very different sort of race, where the track characteristics that can shake up the order could be jumbled up still further this weekend,” added Binotto. “As usual, qualifying will be very important because of the fact it’s almost impossible to overtake. Of course, Monaco is Charles’ [Leclerc] home race and we know how much it means to him. It means a lot to us too.”
Ferrari currently trail Mercedes by 96 points in the constructors’ championship with 16 races left to go.