Siao7 wrote: j man wrote: Siao7 wrote:
j man wrote:So Ferrari go from being utterly untouchable in qualifying to losing pole twice in a row since the FIA's "clarification". I must say, this is looking quite suspicious to me. Downforce / drag levels in car setup seem to be a slightly confounding factor in the straight line speed figures, but the loss of overall lap time is fairly clear to see.
Utterly "untouchable"? Come on, they have 9 poles, as many as Mercedes this year. And they only got the Mexico one as Max messed up under the yellows, otherwise he was almost 3 tenths up on them. Also Hamilton was right up there with them normally, it wasn't that Ferrari was securing the front row in every GP.
The real step change in performance came after the summer break, when Ferrari locked out pole position in all six races until the FIA directive was announced. Before that they tended to be faster on the straights but struggled with downforce in the turns so they only really excelled on the "power" circuits where downforce is less critical. Everyone expected them to win Spa and Monza, but dominating Singapore was what really raised suspicions that something had massively changed from earlier in the season. Now they may have found a miracle aero upgrade over the summer but that seems less likely given that their advantage seems to have suddenly evaporated and that they still have the same front wing concept that has been widely stated to lack overall downforce. More likely is that whatever they did that gave them that extra power allowed them to run a higher downforce setup, and now that that advantage has gone they are back to their early season form.
A fair point about the Mexican GP but the altitude does tend to blunt teams' power advantage somewhat.
Fair points, but I do remember them saying that they would sacrifice speed for some downforce in races. If they did that or not, I am not aware, but it is not that they ran into the sunset, I don't believe they locked out a front row at all and Hamilton was mostly up there with them. And the real problem is the tyres for Ferrari, not the downforce. That's where they hurt normally. Equally, the high altitude like Mexico and Sao Paulo may have hurt them in the engine department more than the others for all we know. And in Austin they were something like 0.012sec behind Bottas in quali, it's not that they dropped so far back. I am not going to jump into Max's "Ferrari is cheating" band wagon just yet
The hard facts is the overall performance of the Ferrari that's not hidden away by downforce levels, before the summer break they were quick down the straights but slow around the corners, after the summer break they were still quick down the straights but now also quick around the corners. After the TD in Austin now they were not quick on the straights but quick in the corners, this explained away by running a lot of downforce so nothing to do with the TD. In Brazil I'm not quite sure what went off, initially I think they were quick on the straights so it was like look the TD has not affected us but the car was slow in the corners, at no point after the TD do we see the car quick both on the straights and quick in the corners at the same time.
After the summer break Ferrari took 5 straight pole positions at an average of being 0.325s quicker than the next fastest car, they were dominant, they also won 3 races, it would have been 4 they were running 1-2 in Sochi before Vettel's car failed and the subsequent SC cost Leclerc the lead of the race. In Mexico they only qualified second behind Verstappen but this is a track were the high altitude has always favoured Red Bull, they still out qualified Mercedes by 0.238s.
In Austin the TD is announced, Ferrari can only qualify second and in the race Leclerc can only finish 4th 52 seconds behind the Mercedes, reminiscent of some of the performances we saw before the summer break.
In Brazil again the Ferrari can only qualify second and in the race runs in 3rd place about 10 seconds behind the Red Bull and Mercedes before the race turned into a farce.
So after the summer break Ferrari were dominant in qualifying and winning races more often than not, after the TD they can't get a pole position and are far away from winning any races.