The fight for the 2022 Formula 1 championships are over, but there is still a lot of interest for this final part of the season. Waiting for a possible, even if very unlikely, twist related to the eligible sanctions for breaching the budget cap, Red bull has won the two world titles: its fifth constructors championship is already on the showcase, while the Dutch young talent, Max Verstappen, once again boasts the drivers’ championship, repeating the performance from last season.
Ferrari, for its part, once again threw away a project that in fact had all the credentials to fight for the title until the last corner of the calendar. Wrong choices made by the Maranello pit wall, a few too many errors by the drivers, technical failures and the inability to develop the car completed the picture. All that remains now for the Italian side is to give its best in the last few races, to collect as much data as possible and test the car in view of the 2023 Formula 1 season, the year when Ferrari must necessarily do better.
Looking at the next race, the Mexican track is made up of high-speed sections mixed with very slow areas. A high load should be preferred by teams to be able to increase top speeds. This is because, although in the straights it would actually be reversed, the task of the engineers in finding the optimal set-up is simplified by a very important factor: the altitude.
We are in fact at 2,242 m above sea level. The density of the air decreases as it is much more rarefied. This factor plays a central role in the calculation of the lift and drag coefficients (cL and cD). Specifically, the resistance decreases, which eliminates the problem of an overly loaded wing on the longer straight. We will therefore see aerodynamic configurations more similar to Monte Carlo and Singapore, rather than to Spa and Monza.
Show your support for Scuderia Ferrari with official merchandise collection! Click here to enter the F1 online Store and shop securely! And also get your F1 tickets for every race with VIP hospitality and unparalleled insider access. Click here for the best offers to support Charles and Carlos from the track!
This factor benefits Ferrari, as the differences in efficiency are effectively reduced significantly. The F1-75 car has always shown an excellent ability to adapt to the high-load tracks and was the best in the first sector of Austin during the United States Grand Prix weekend seven days ago.
However, one element that could negatively affect performance remains to be considered: the Italian car is still recovering from the TD039 which, even if it is still denied by Ferrari, has greatly affected the performance of the F1-75.
From Spa-Francorchamps onwards, in fact, the Ferrari single-seaters have not yet been able to race with the optimal ride height predetermined according to the project. However, they are on the right track and some of these results have already been seen in Austin. Red Bull will be called upon to do a good job on the setup on the RB18, in order to find a balance that satisfies drivers with no understeer, an element that has haunted the Milton Keynes team throughout the year, especially in the first part of the season.
The mechanical factor comes into play in third sector of the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez, even if already in the first sector we find some corners where a good rear will be crucial to reach top lap times. Although the slow areas of the Mexican track are not so many, the percentage of time that is spent in proportion to the fast sections makes them take on an undoubtedly more than decisive role.
Often, in past seasons, in Mexico we have seen how the single-seaters lost the advantage accumulated in the last meters. In this respect, Ferrari will assert itself, given that since the beginning of the world championship it dominates in the slow sections. To do this, the work of technicians and drivers will have to produce a compromise capable of maintaining a certain stability of the aerodynamic platform and at the same time finding the right mechanical balance to be fast in the final sector of the track.
Leave a Reply