Carlos Sainz’s worrying Ferrari “lost months” of F1 development admission

Ferrari have "lost months" of F1 development time compared to their rivals, Carlos Sainz has admitted.

Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Ferrari SF-24 makes a pit stop. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 12, British Grand Prix,
Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Ferrari SF-24 makes a pit stop. Formula 1 World…

Carlos Sainz says Ferrari have lost “two or three months” of development time compared to their F1 rivals after removing a troublesome upgrade.

Ferrari fitted their SF-24 with a major new upgrade package at last month’s Spanish Grand Prix but have been battling an unforeseen bouncing problem in high-speed corners.

After an experimental Friday at Silverstone, Ferrari reverted to their old-spec floor and bodywork which was used at Imola for the rest of the British Grand Prix weekend.

Sainz qualified seventh at Silverstone, while Charles Leclerc failed to reach Q3, qualifying 11th. In Sunday’s race they finished fifth and 14th respectively.

"It is clearly not good enough," Sainz said. "We have basically the same car as in Imola and since Imola everyone has upgraded, probably added two tenths to the car and we have had to revert.

"We have lost two or three months of performance gain in the wind tunnel or performance we could have added in these three months, so clearly we haven't taken the right calls recently.

"I feel like today was at least back-to-basics, back to a car which was in Imola and we just need to upgrade it from here. But it is clear that our rivals are a good step ahead of us.”

Sainz suggested Ferrari may have to “live” with the new package for the upcoming Hungarian Grand Prix, given the Hungaroring largely consists of low-speed, twisty corners.

Charles Leclerc (MON) Ferrari SF-24. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 12, British Grand Prix, Silverstone, England, Race
Charles Leclerc (MON) Ferrari SF-24. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 12,…

“It still means we will bounce in [turns] four and eleven. But until then, nothing better will come,” Sainz explained.

“We might need to live with the bouncing for slow-speed performance while in high-speed tracks we might need to run this floor of the old package if the other one is undriveable.

“That’s the situation we’re in,” he added. “I trust the team will do the right calls circuit-to-circuit until a more solid package, which is not bouncing in high-speed and good in low-speed, arrives, and then we will start thinking about battling the top three teams again.”

Asked if Ferrari will consider going back to the Barcelona package for Budapest, team principal Fred Vasseur said: “This we will have to have a deep analysis on the weekend, and consider the fact that Silverstone was from far the most aggressive track in terms of bouncing with very high-speed corners and so on.

“But we'll have time to discuss and to decide for Budapest.”

On the bouncing issues thwarting Ferrari, Vasseur said: “I think it's still a question mark for everybody, that sometimes the bouncing is popping up like this. It's quite difficult to have a correlation because you don't have the bouncing into the wind tunnel.

“We all have metrics, and I don't want to go deep in detail, but we all have metrics. You can anticipate that you will have more bouncing with this part with another one, but to know if it will have a negative impact on the performance, it's another story.

“To fix it, you have tons of solutions. You have solutions with a compromise on performance. You have solutions without compromise on performance, developing new packages. I think we are there now.

“We’ll have to deal perhaps next race with the current car, and the sooner the better, we'll bring an upgrade with less bouncing.”

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