The Italian team is currently in a duel with Red Bull and presented a heavily modified F1-75 for the first time at the last race in Spain. The improvements brought progress. Charles Leclerc took pole and seemed on course for victory in the race, but a defective engine prevented this. Ferrari knows it must attack now to stave off the renewed Red Bull threat, but is also aware that it must remain within budget limits. Ferrari waited until Barcelona with updates due to restrictions, and the next step is expected to be taken at the British Grand Prix in July.
Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto notes that Monaco and Baku also play a role as street circuits in the Italians’ planning. “The budget ceiling determines what we can do. We have to look at it carefully and not waste our money, we can’t just do that,” said Binotto. “We will come up with upgrades when we have a significant one and that’s why we don’t come up with a few things every race. Also we’re going to Monaco where you might need to bring a new front suspension for the steering.” Winkel and Baku isn’t much later, which is also a street circuit which I expect will see some new developments around the UK race.”
Bad luck at Leclerc opened the door to Max Verstappen’s fourth win of the season and thus to the lead in the championship. Despite the outage, Monegask said the progress of updates in Spain is encouraging. “Of course I’m disappointed with the problem we had, but on the other hand there are also a lot of positives,” said Leclerc. “The whole weekend the package worked as expected, that is not to be taken for granted. This also applies to our race pace and tire management. Compared to Red Bull, we struggled a lot with that in the last few games, Sunday was strong. I think in situations like this you would do well to look at the positive.”
After the Spanish Grand Prix, the defective power source was immediately flown to the headquarters in Maranello. The team examined the entire power unit and concluded that the turbo and MGU-H were the culprits and beyond repair.