Ferrari needs Monaco to make its F1 form vs Mercedes "irrelevant"

Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc accept Ferrari is not quick enough to beat Mercedes at the moment, but Vettel hopes the Monaco Grand Prix will make form "irrelevant"

Ferrari needs Monaco to make its F1 form vs Mercedes "irrelevant"

Ferrari was comfortably bested by Mercedes in the previous race in Spain as its rival clinched a fifth one-two from five races.

That has has led both Ferrari and Red Bull to declare Mercedes the favourite for Monaco, despite Mercedes not winning in Monte Carlo since 2016 and being the third-fastest team the last two years.

Vettel said that "going forwards we know we're not quick enough to beat Mercedes", but hopes that will not apply in Monaco.

"I don't think we need time, I think we understood in Barcelona that we are just not quick enough," he said.

"We are not happy with that so we are working very hard trying to make a difference.

"This track is unique and anything can happen this weekend, so it's probably irrelevant what the paper might say or the form of the last five races might suggest.

"Coming here anything can happen."

Vettel said the mood inside Ferrari is "good" and team-mate Leclerc insisted the team is staying "calm" as it troubleshoots its problems.

"For here, it's difficult to predict," said Vettel.

"You would assume these types of corners don't really suit us based on the last couple of races but I don't see why we shouldn't have a good race.

"Historically, the last couple of years at least, were very good for us [Vettel won in 2017, pictured below]."

Leclerc said that the post-Spanish GP test at Barcelona helped Ferrari "understand a few things" but agreed it is not as quick as Mercedes yet.

"Not enough, obviously, to be at the level of Mercedes," he said.

"I think we gained a little bit of time, not enough, we need to keep working.

"We need to try and understand what was the main issue, but the engineers are working on that."

Ferrari has begun to explore different concepts in its bid to try to bridge the performance gap to Mercedes.

Team principal Mattia Binotto suggested that the Barcelona test pinpointed the way Ferrari works Pirelli's thinner-gauge 2019 tyres as a major factor.

"The tyres are very, very sensitive and extremely difficult to understand," Vettel said.

"It's a combination of things. Our car is not quick enough. But also this might trigger that you might not find yourself in the right place for the tyres.

"The window is unfortunately extremely small to hit. You can see big differences in lap time across the same driver or inside the same team, which sometimes you struggle to understand.

"The feedback we get inside the car from the tyres, sometimes it's better, sometimes it's worse.

"There's a lot of engineering power and science behind trying to overcome all these random scenarios.

"We're doing our best but maybe other people understand a little bit more than we do."

shares
comments
Promoted: The engineering students helping to create a 2019 Formula 1 car

Previous article

Promoted: The engineering students helping to create a 2019 Formula 1 car

Next article

McLaren found problem in F1 testing that will help Monaco GP form

McLaren found problem in F1 testing that will help Monaco GP form
Load comments
Why momentum is again behind Australia’s aces Plus

Why momentum is again behind Australia’s aces

At the Italian Grand Prix Daniel Ricciardo turned around a troubled F1 season and, in F2, Oscar Piastri demonstrated once again that he is a potential star of the future. BEN EDWARDS weighs up the prospects of F1 having two Australian stars

The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers Plus

The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers

Michael Schumacher is the latest sporting superstar to get the ‘Netflix treatment’, with a special documentary film airing on the US streaming giant’s platform this month. DAMIEN SMITH has the inside track on how the filmmakers gained access to tell the human story behind one of Formula 1’s most publicity-shy champions - while the man himself, for obvious reasons, is in absentia… 

Formula 1
Sep 25, 2021
The times that suggest Verstappen should be confident of F1 Russian GP recovery Plus

The times that suggest Verstappen should be confident of F1 Russian GP recovery

For the second race in a row, Mercedes has ended the first day of track action on top. It’s in a commanding position at the Russian Grand Prix once again – this time largely thanks to Max Verstappen’s upcoming engine-change grid penalty. But there’s plenty to suggest all hope is not lost for the championship leader at Sochi

Formula 1
Sep 24, 2021
The ‘backwards step’ that is the right move for Formula 1 Plus

The ‘backwards step’ that is the right move for Formula 1

OPINION: With its days apparently numbered, the MGU-H looks set to be dropped from Formula 1’s future engine rules in order to entice new manufacturers in. While it may appear a change of direction, the benefits for teams and fans could make the decision a worthwhile call

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2021
The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots Plus

The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots

Team Lotus ceased to exist in 1994 - and yet various parties have been trying to resurrect the hallowed name, in increasingly unrecognisable forms, ever since. DAMIEN SMITH brings GP Racing’s history of the legendary team to an end with a look at those who sought to keep the flame alive in Formula 1

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background Plus

Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background

OPINION: Formula 1 reconvenes for the Russian Grand Prix two weeks after the latest blow in ‘Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton’. While the Silverstone and Monza incidents were controversial, they thankfully lacked one element that so far separates the 2021 title fight from the worst examples of ugly championship battles

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
How F1’s other champion to emerge from 1991 thrived at Lotus Plus

How F1’s other champion to emerge from 1991 thrived at Lotus

Mika Hakkinen became Michael Schumacher’s biggest rival in Formula 1 in the late-90s and early 2000s, having also made his F1 debut in 1991. But as MARK GALLAGHER recalls, while Schumacher wowed the world with a car that was eminently capable, Hakkinen was fighting to make his mark with a famous team in terminal decline

Formula 1
Sep 21, 2021
The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey  Plus

The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey 

Before Michael Schumacher – or anyone else – had driven the 191 (or 911 as it was initially called), Eddie Jordan turned to a fellow Irishman to test his new Formula 1 car. JOHN WATSON, a grand prix winner for Penske and McLaren, recalls his role in the birth of a legend…

Formula 1
Sep 20, 2021