Ferrari explains old F1 car floor test in Italian GP practice

Ferrari has revealed that a decision to trial an old floor design in practice for Formula 1’s Italian Grand Prix was aimed at getting answers for its recent tyre struggles.

Ferrari explains old F1 car floor test in Italian GP practice

The Italian outfit raised some eyebrows in FP1 at Monza when Carlos Sainz was spotted running a floor design that had originally been used much earlier in the campaign.

It was replaced by a newer version that was trialled by Charles Leclerc at the French Grand Prix before being put in to race action, with Ferrari confident it had delivered a step forward in performance.

Ferrari F1-75 new floor comparison

Ferrari F1-75 new floor comparison

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

But after some recent struggles with its tyre management in races, where Ferrari has not been as good on its rubber as Red Bull, the team is suspecting that recent aero developments may have pushed its car in a direction that has hurt its balance.

Asked by  Autosport at Monza to explain the thinking behind testing out the old floor, team principal Mattia Binotto explained it was a data gathering for the squad to understand if its recent upgrades have triggered some unintended consequences.

“If we look back at the last races, where in terms of tyre degradation we have not been the best, we certainly had issues with the car balance,” explained Binotto.

“Having an open balance, medium-high speed to low speed corners, generated overheating into the tyres themselves, which then brings to the degradation. So, we know that the car balance was not the right one.

“The reason of the poor car balance was due to aero developments that brought us there. It was a question mark for us.

“So the reason why we did the test yesterday here in Monza, even if maybe Monza is not the best circuit to do such a test, we did it to collect data, to analyse them once back at the factory and try to have a good explanation for what happened which, at the moment, we do not have as a complete and final answer.

“So we are still in the path of analysing, understanding and hopefully addressing it for the future.”

Carlos Sainz, Ferrari F1-75

Carlos Sainz, Ferrari F1-75

Photo by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images

Ferrari had been cautious about its chances for a good result at the high-speed Monza circuit, because its car has not been as efficient as its rivals in recent races.

But Sainz was left especially upbeat about how the F1-75 had run throughout practice.

“Obviously after coming from Spa, the last low downforce track where we struggled a lot, we expected to not be very competitive here,” he explained.

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“But I must say that since FP1 the car felt in a much better window, in a much better position than where it was in Spa. The lap times were coming easy, the stopwatch doesn't lie and we were more and more on the pace, so it's been a pleasant surprise.

“That doesn't mean we are the fastest, I don't think we are the fastest out there by any means, especially in the long runs, but at least we are closer than what we thought.”

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