Scuderia Ferrari presented a brand new front wing at Monza to increase efficiency without losing too many downforce points on the front tires. It was judged a good solution, however the performance of the car on a very fast layout has decisively highlighted the power gap. It should not come as a surprise. Team Principal Mattia Binotto officially confirmed what was reported several times during the 2021 Formula 1 season, pointing to a gap at around 20 horsepower.
In general, simplifying the concept, the SF21 develops a high% of total load with the wings, this is the aspect that forced the Maranello technicians to use a rear wing with a slightly higher downforce configuration than one might have been expected, especially as compared to its rivals.
For the SF21 it is essential to run in clean air.
This could be seen well at a distance of 3/4 seconds from Lewis Hamilton: at this gap Charles Leclerc was able to express the best of his SF21 car. Approaching under 3 seconds, he quickly lost balance starting to slip and forcing him to slow down significantly. It is the characteristic of a car that cannot extract a lot of energy from the chassis alone. Carlos Sainz, who gradually regained his confidence after the error in the second free practice session, was also quite in line in the second part.
Charles Leclerc’s race pace in particular showed a positive balance, linear degradation on the tires and consequently also good consistency. Ironically, however, the restart after a safety car, which could only theoretically be a good opportunity with a little bit of luck, highlighted its weakness. Because clearly with the DRS closed, the SF21 is the car that struggles most of all and when it happens, as in Baku, it is inevitably the most vulnerable. A little frustrating for the Maranello team’s drivers.
In the constructors’ championship, Mclaren returned to the front thanks to a well-deserved but unpredictable one-two in Monza. Scuderia Ferrari does not want to finish fourth because the goal remains third at the end of the 2021 Formula 1 season, but it is clear that the penalties they will face to be able to use the updated Power Unit – on which they work 24 hours a day for Turkey – make the task not impossible but rather complicated.
From Monza to Imola, while waiting to go to Sochi, in the next few days Ferrari will take advantage of a test session at Imola with both drivers on the SF71H. A sort of training similar to what we saw at Fiorano but obviously on a much more demanding circuit.