'We have to respond immediately' – Ferrari aiming to bring big update to Austria ahead of schedule
Second place for Charles Leclerc in the first race of the 2020 season masked bigger problems for Ferrari and their SF1000. But their drivers and fans have received a boost with news the team is aiming to bring the update initially planned for Hungary forward to this weekend's race in Austria.
On the eve of the 2020 season restart, Ferrari admitted they are taking a “significant change of direction in terms of development” after analysing data from winter testing. That means the car they had for Sunday's Austrian Grand Prix was the same as the one which ran in Barcelona, back in February.
Their updated car was set to break cover at round three in Hungary, but on Monday, the Italian team revealed they would be bringing forward the update to this weekend’s Styrian GP, which will be held at the Red Bull Ring.
“The SF1000 didn’t measure up, even compared to expectations ahead of the event,” said Ferrari in a statement. “Because of this, development has already been going on at full pace for some time.
“This is in the hope of bringing forward to next weekend the introduction of the aerodynamic package scheduled for the Hungarian Grand Prix – or, at least, some of its components.
“It’s not that these new parts are expected to completely bridge the gap compared to the front of the grid. But the progress in terms of lap time could allow the team to move up the order and put the drivers in a better condition to be able to display their talent.
“Moreover it’s about checking that the chosen direction of development is the right one, precisely because it will be possible to do a true back-to-back on every upgrade.”
Ferrari CEO Louis Camilleri praised Leclerc for his performance in Austria, while adding the team will work hard to understand why Sebastian Vettel was unhappy with the balance of the car.
“We know there’s lots of work to do,” he said. “This is certainly not the grid position that a team like Ferrari should have and we have to respond immediately. It’s clear that we have to improve on all fronts. The only solution is to react and I’m pleased by the immediate reaction and the work that Mattia and all his team are putting in at every level.
“This is not just to bring to the track today what was scheduled to be ready tomorrow, but also to speed up the programme of development for the coming races. This is the response of a united team which is rolling up its sleeves and facing the problems head on, without crying about it.
“We are at the start of a new cycle with a long term plan. Any setbacks will certainly not change our chosen course and I have any confidence in Mattia and the team in addressing our shortcomings.”