Ferrari to debut "first step" of 2019 car development in Baku

Ferrari is bringing “a few updates” to the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, marking the first development of its 2019 Formula 1 car as it bids to close the gap to Mercedes.

Ferrari to debut "first step" of 2019 car development in Baku

The Italian team has scored a best finish of third across the opening three races of the season because of a combination of set-up problems, poor reliability and mistakes.

By comparison, Mercedes has swept to a trio of one-two finishes and already established a 57-point lead in the constructors’ championship.

Ferrari’s aerodynamic philosophy has been questioned after its poor start to the season and the absence of external upgrades, compared to small changes by Mercedes, has also been noted.

However, team principal Mattia Binotto says Ferrari is “bringing a few updates to Baku, as the first step in the development of the SF90”.

“Coming off the back of three races that definitely didn’t go the way we wanted, this GP is another important moment for us,” he said in Ferrari’s preview of the fourth race of the season.

“We have prepared for it very well, analysing all the data we have acquired up until now, looking at areas where we can improve and working on adapting the car’s set-up and the power unit management to the characteristics of the track.”

Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel admitted at the Shanghai race that Ferrari faced an important period in establishing its mid-term development direction.

However, the upgrades Ferrari has in Baku will be the result of work that started before it fell behind Mercedes in the championship battle.

Mercedes’ 2016 world champion Nico Rosberg said following the Chinese Grand Prix that Ferrari had pitched its 2019 car in “the wrong place”.

He cited the team’s low-drag philosophy that has given it a straightline speed advantage but cost it too much cornering performance.

That could be a key factor in Baku, which has long, flat-out sections in the first and final sector of the lap, but tight and twisty corners in the middle.

“A big challenge at Baku is to find the right wing level to get good grip for the slow corners but also to be fast enough on the straights where we spend a lot of time at full throttle,” said Vettel. “It’s not an easy compromise.”

Read also:

shares
comments
Michael Schumacher would have managed Mick in F1 - Weber

Previous article

Michael Schumacher would have managed Mick in F1 - Weber

Next article

Hamilton the only driver on Senna's level - Berger

Hamilton the only driver on Senna's level - Berger
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Event Azerbaijan GP
Teams Ferrari
Author Scott Mitchell
How 2021's midfielders have taken lessons from F1's top teams Prime

How 2021's midfielders have taken lessons from F1's top teams

Formula 1’s latest Imola adventure turned into an expensive trip for many teams due to several crashes throughout the weekend. While balancing the books is an added factor in 2021 with the cost cap, a few midfield teams have cashed in early on development investments.

Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Driver Ratings

A frantic wet race at Imola produced plenty of excitement and drama as drivers scrabbled for grip. Amid the hatful of mistakes and incidents that ensued, who kept their noses cleanest?

How the Emilia Romagna GP result hinged on three crucial saves Prime

How the Emilia Romagna GP result hinged on three crucial saves

Rain before the start of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix promised to spice up the action, and the race certainly delivered on that. Max Verstappen got the best launch to win from Lewis Hamilton, but both got away with mistakes that could have had serious consequences

The back-bedroom world-beater that began a new F1 era Prime

The back-bedroom world-beater that began a new F1 era

The first in a line of world beaters was designed in a back bedroom and then constructed in a shed. STUART CODLING recalls the Tyrrell 001

Formula 1
Apr 18, 2021
Why Mercedes isn't confident it's really ahead of Red Bull at Imola Prime

Why Mercedes isn't confident it's really ahead of Red Bull at Imola

While Mercedes struck back against Red Bull by topping the times at Imola on Friday ahead of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, the overall picture remains incredibly close. Despite having a possible edge this weekend, the reigning Formula 1 world champion squad is not taking anything for granted...

Formula 1
Apr 16, 2021
What Mercedes must do to keep its F1 title challenge on track Prime

What Mercedes must do to keep its F1 title challenge on track

Mercedes may find itself leading the drivers' and constructors' standings after Lewis Hamilton's victory in the Bahrain Grand Prix, but it is well aware that it came against the odds, with Red Bull clearly ahead. Here's what the Brackley team must do to avoid its crown slipping .

Formula 1
Apr 16, 2021
The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate Prime

The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate

It's been a tough start to Sebastian Vettel's Aston Martin F1 career, with a lack of pre-season testing mileage followed by an incident-packed Bahrain GP. But two key underlying factors mean a turnaround is no guarantee.

Formula 1
Apr 14, 2021
The themes to watch in F1's Imola return Prime

The themes to watch in F1's Imola return

Three weeks is a long time in Formula 1, but in the reshaped start to the 2021 season the teams head to Imola to pick things up after the frenetic Bahrain opener. Here's what to look out for and the developments to follow at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix

Formula 1
Apr 13, 2021