We have to take our eyes off the film we had made of a superior Ferrari, but slowed down in the latest releases by anomalous and difficult to repeat events. The reality to focus on seems in fact to be another: an excellent but still unripe Red, unstable, in the face of a Red Bull still on the road despite minor tribulations. The breakdowns at the petrol pump that took place in the first three races (two retirements of Max Verstappen), while Ferrari scored a double, a victory and a total of five podiums between Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz, were resolved in Milton Keynes, and the team some drinkers got back on track also facing, not without luck, other technical problems such as those that afflict Verstappen’s mobile wing. So Houston we have a problem, and a big one too.
Ferrari, the risks of Leclerc
Leclerc will already have to mount this weekend in Canada the third engine of the season (the last one can be used without penalty) and the technicians are ascertaining whether he will have to resort to the fourth turbo: in this case he will already pay positions at the start, losing five on Sunday’s grid. The table relating to the engine parts in use so far (the power unit is a puzzle made up of seven parts) is very eloquent: if Ferrari is at the third V6 for Leclerc already in Canada (Sainz mounted it at Imola, fourth GP of the year), the Alfa and Haas customer teams are in similar condition. Already last Thursday Günther Steiner, head of Haas, came out with one of his abrasive jokes: “Would you believe me if I said I have no worries? Well, you shouldn’t believe it after everything that has happened“. And the worst was yet to come.
Red Bull on a perfect schedule
On the contrary, Red Bull is on a perfect schedule and ran the first third of the season without getting too disheveled: the engine with which it debuted in Bahrain was used up to Monte Carlo for both drivers – no rotations between fast and slow circuits – the second was mounted in Baku (eighth weekend), yielded the Verstappen-Perez brace and is now ready to face the Montreal-Silverstone-Red Bull Ring 3-in-a-row, all severe tracks with power units. The breakdowns of Charles and Bottas’ Alfa, together with the MGU-H always jumped on Leclerc’s car in Spain, require a step back both on the thermal and on the electric part, to then try to do two forward. In Maranello they already have an idea after studying telemetry, but the broken power units can be opened and analyzed from today.
Ferrari changes plans
Plans change at this point, because the top priority is no longer to present the aerodynamic development envisaged for Silverstone, but to ensure the tightness of the engines. It is not excluded that in Canada Ferrari, not having the time to remedy with reliability developments, is forced to reduce the powers. Mattia Binotto has called for tranquility for Montreal (“Charles will have a fresh engine and this is reassuring, if anything we are worried about the following races»), But it should be noted that even the new engines do not give guarantees: the V6 jumped on Sunday behind Leclerc’s back did not even have two and a half GPs to live (Miami, Spain and twenty laps in Baku). Each power unit should instead safely hold eight, given that the original calendar was 23 races (or alternatively six GPs, if Maranello originally envisaged the use of a fourth engine, paying penalties). The front of the hydraulic failures that occurred in Sainz and on Zhou’s Alfa is no less hot. In this case, Brembo, which supplies all the teams powered by Maranello, wanted to reiterate that the failures occurred upstream of its braking systems and only with pressure drops (the circuits work at 220 bar) did they go into protection, stopping instantly.
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