The brand new technology of floor impact equipment has produced plenty of surprises this 12 months, and groups have typically discovered themselves on the again foot at race weekends the place they anticipated to do a lot better.
However there has additionally been a flip aspect to that too, in that typically groups discover their efficiency far exceeds what that they had anticipated.
Ferrari has been chasing solutions for that actual state of affairs this 12 months, with it having just lately struggled a lot at Spa-Francorchamps however then been a lot stronger in Monza – regardless of each tracks requiring low downforce and good aero effectivity.
Jock Clear, who’s the crew’s senior efficiency engineer, confesses that even his squad’s finest engineers don’t have any full clarification for why there was such diverse efficiency.
“Actually, if we actually knew these issues, we’d have the golden bullet,” he stated. “It’s actually difficult to work this stuff out.
“You speak to groups which can be discovering actually good efficiency at a race, and also you speak to groups that dropped again, and there’s a actual thriller to unravelling all of it. That’s why this job isn’t easy, and that’s why it’s so intriguing for all of you guys [the media] and all of us guys.”
Charles Leclerc, Ferrari F1-75, leads initially
Photograph by: Alessio Morgese
Whereas accepting that it can not totally clarify why Spa was so troublesome and Monza was higher, Clear says that, as groups acquire extra expertise with the automobiles, they’re starting to unlock a a lot better understanding of what’s taking place.
“Actually, we don’t know all of the solutions, and we nonetheless don’t perceive precisely what went on in Spa,” he stated. “We have now some concepts, and we’ve clearly acted on these.
“We’ve come to Monza, a equally low downforce circuit like Spa, although totally different, and we really feel that it appears to be like like we’ve understood a few of what went on at Spa.
“It might prove later within the 12 months that we discover out some extra issues, however we’re frequently studying.
“None of us know the entire particulars, as a result of it’s a relative sport, and on a regular basis it’s a relative sport, and also you don’t know what everybody else is doing, there’s a load of areas the place it’s a must to take your finest guess virtually.”
Charles Leclerc, Ferrari F1-75, passes the beached automobile of Carlos Sainz Jr., Ferrari F1-75
Photograph by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Photographs
Clear doesn’t suppose that the brand new technology of floor impact automobiles are particularly difficult to grasp, however he believes the truth that the foundations are of their infancy means groups have a protracted option to go earlier than they’ll perceive them totally.
“I believe it’s simply because they’re so new,” added Clear. “There’s at all times going to be a steep studying curve with a brand new growth or a brand new algorithm, and everyone seems to be on that steep studying curve.
“We noticed that at first of the 12 months. Lots of people had been saying [to us]: ‘Why is your automobile so fast early within the 12 months?’ It’s a relative sport.
“Possibly we arrived simply understanding it a bit higher and a few folks had been simply discovering out the place their automobiles had been.
“That was the beauty of coming right into a 12 months with a brand new regulation. There’s clearly the excessive efficiency side of your automobile bundle, however there’s additionally coming to grasp that automobile, and the drivers’ understanding of how you can drive it.
“With drivers of Max’s [Verstappen] high quality, Charles’ [Leclerc] high quality, Carlos’ [Sainz] high quality, you anticipate these guys to be on it immediately. They’re human, they usually’re engaged on their expertise every single day, they usually have improved through the 12 months. Possibly they’ve understood extra.
“All of that comes collectively at totally different charges and totally different instances, and in several groups. When it’s a relative sport, you may’t actually know all of the solutions.”