In the latest video for the Italian version of the Motorsport website, Giorgio Piola, along with other journalists, answers questions about the Spanish Grand Prix, which was held at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona last weekend. One of the most frequent requests was undoubtedly an explanation of what happened to Ferrari, as the highly anticipated updates for the SF-23 seem to have not worked. To address this topic, the expert decided to make a comparison with Toto Wolff’s team.
“We had already seen Mercedes in Monaco, where I was able to observe it well from all angles. In Spain, what surprised me was its competitiveness in the race, not so much with what Lewis Hamilton did, but with George Russell’s comeback, which indicates that the car is there,” said the Italian engineer.
“In Barcelona, I focused on Ferrari, but even here, the attitude was different. Already in the show and tell, which is the moment when teams are obliged to display their cars and describe all the updates on Thursday, perhaps it was a mistake or a misunderstanding, but initially, Ferrari had the old car out. The new one, instead, is completely different, especially in the splitting of the sidepods, which resembles the trend of other cars without being a copy of the Red Bull. Perhaps it’s precisely the difference from the other cars that made it so immature, and the tests weren’t enough to fine-tune it. At least, that’s the hope,” Giorgio Piola recounted bitterly.
“In Ferrari, they were positive about the updates”
The hope for a positive new start, after what was seen in qualifying, was also widespread among those working in the paddock, as Giorgio Piola describes: “Moreover, on Sundays, there are always three team technicians who speak to journalists, and Jock Clear, based on Carlos Sainz’s front row, was calm and reiterated that Barcelona would reveal the strengths and weaknesses. In the end, his words turned against him.” – the Italian journalist continued.
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The engineer then shared an anecdote that happened to himself: “Carlos Sainz on the front row on Saturday led me to make a post where I talked about a positive start that I then forgot to remove, and people massacred me because after the race, the situation was clearly different.”
In conclusion, the expert also believes that a mistake made by Ferrari was throwing the car straight into the mix without testing the modifications in Monaco, as the Brackley team did. “Mercedes did well to bring the updates to Monaco because, although the track is not demanding for the cars, they were able to familiarize themselves with the parts and see that everything was working. Ferrari put the car on the track in Barcelona, and they still haven’t been able to understand it. I think the two days of Pirelli testing will be good so that the car can be better understood,” – Giorgio Piola concluded following the Spanish Grand Prix.