Ferrari and Red Bull Racing were quite balanced in the first five races of the 2022 Formula 1 season. However, there was always a pattern in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Australia and Imola: Red Bull’s RB18 always proved to be the better in the fast corners and in terms of top speed, while Ferrari saved time in the slower corners and the acceleration phase. This image was also seen in Miami, although the difference in the second sector’s slow corners appeared to be smaller than in previous races.
“You are absolutely right,” summarizes Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto. “We have a bit more downforce in terms of wing configurations, so we lack speed on the straights. Usually, however, we regain a little more in the corners. I think that was the case here in turns 5 to 7, but maybe not in the very slow corners. Red Bull has been very strong on that front, especially with the media. As a result, they were just as quick as us in the slowest corners.”
According to Binotto, the fact that Red Bull was able to keep up better with the slow corners in Miami compared to previous races is largely due to the upgrades that the Austrian team made to the RB18 in Imola. With these new parts, Red Bull was able to reduce the weight of the car, which in turn benefits maneuverability, especially in the slow corners. On the other hand, Ferrari brought a new part for the F1-75 to Miami for the first time, but despite the low downforce on the rear wing, Red Bull still proved significantly quicker on the straights.
Binotto knows Ferrari has to respond and in Barcelona he will. Carlos Sainz and championship leader Charles Leclerc can expect a big upgrade at the Spanish Grand Prix. Leclerc believes an upgrade is also needed after seeing Max Verstappen score maximum points for two weekends in a row: “It seems that they have better race pace for the second race in a row, but also handle their tires better.”