In Emilia-Romagna, Red Bull scored 58 points, against 20 for Ferrari, which had nevertheless dominated in Australia. How to understand this reversal?
RED BULL PERFECT AND LIBRA
Dominated by Ferrari and plagued by reliability problems in the first few races, Red Bull reacted on the opponent’s terrain and regained control.
Of course, the Prancing Horse shot himself in the foot accumulating errors (tactical error by Charles Leclerc in Friday’s qualifying, bad setting during the sprint that caused graining, slow start on the wet side of the grid then an anomaly in the management of the race), but the RB18 was considerably faster at Imola. For what reasons?
Unlike the Scuderia, which preferred not to bring any news during a weekend in sprint format (opposite page), the English team introduced some technical innovations.
At the front, a fin has been added around the keel (compare the yellow arrows in the image above), which is itself thinner (blue arrows), to provide additional downforce. The design is inspired by the one seen on the Ferrari F1-75 as well as theAston Martin AMR22 (and which Alpine also picked up this weekend). At the rear, the brake air intake has been revised to improve cooling.
“The aerodynamic package works as expectedHelmut Marko said. But we still have the ‘weight’ factor to solve, because Ferrari is even lighter than our car. We are still above the FIA minimum weight. We will reach this figure in stages. Which is normal: in Weight Watchers, you don’t lose excess weight suddenly.
Furthermore, Milton Keynes has reduced its weight handicap compared to Maranello by fitting lighter parts. Of the 10 kg in excess (which in theory are around three tenths of a second), he would have recovered four in Imola, while the rest would have been won by Barcelona.
Well, but did these updates really make Red Bull faster than Ferrari?
“Good [Charles Leclerc] ran away yesterday, Max Verstappen on arrival. We made some changes, but I don’t know what they brought us… Anyway, everything was under control, better than in Australia, and sometimes it’s more important than the new parts. And then things are increasingly uncertain on a wet track … “
The difference is more in the way the tires work. In this regard, Red Bull has learned the lesson from Melbourne. Better tuned, the RB18 caused none grain with the front tires on Saturday, unlike Ferrari.
“As we saw in Melbourne, the F1 tires have an operating window [la notion est expliquée ici] in which we were able to insert them this weekend by choosing the right settings “, Christian Horner explained.
“Charles suffered a little more than us on the front tires, both in the sprint race and during the Grand Prix, where he started to suffer in the second part of the race.
Contrary to the previous Grand Prix, the F1-75 used less tires, the Italian technicians were unable to find the right setting in the short time allowed to race (a single session before the park closed on Friday), while the opponents from Red Bull he succeeded:
“We had very little time to develop the car, analyzed Mattia Binotto on Sunday evening. With just one session on Friday, on a wet track, we collected very little data, even on long stints.
“It’s true that we raced in Free 2 on Saturday, but I have the feeling that I ran out of data before competing in the sprint race. In this sense, Red Bull has done better than us. You have to understand why “.