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What went wrong at Ferrari ?: Wrong wings in Interlagos

What went wrong at Ferrari?
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A At the end Ferrari could only congratulate his conqueror. The constructors' title went to Mercedes in the fifth year of the hybrid era. The chances for the Italians to break their silver dominance have never been so good. For much of the season, Ferrari had the best package. But then too many good opportunities were missed during the season. Also in Brazil.

With its route layout, Interlagos fits almost perfectly into the profile of the SF71H. It's a course where aerodynamic efficiency counts in an area with medium downforce. The starting position after the training definitely spoke for Ferrari, even if they missed pole position by a few hundredths.

Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Räikkönen started with soft tires. At least Mercedes would have liked to have these starting tires, because the soft compound is more robust than the super soft rubber. In the end, Raikkonen and Vettel only ended up in 3rd and 6th place. Considering the omens, that was a disappointment.

Raikkonen only as fast as opponents with handicaps

Explanations are difficult. Vettel clearly had a problem with the car. His Ferrari was out of balance, according to Ferrari because of a defective sensor, which forced Vettel to make setup settings before the start that had a negative effect on driving behavior and tire usage.

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Vettel's tires never got into the right temperature window in Brazil.

“I never brought the tires into their temperature window, no matter what mixture,” Vettel wondered. When he finally wanted to turn at least the fastest race lap on supersoft tires, he failedto Valtteri Bottas, whose Mercedes was only fitted with soft tires. Another indication that the worm was in the car with the starting number 5.

That is why Vettel let his team-mate pass without resistance. Raikkonen was at least satisfied with his car and the tires. The only restriction: “The soft set at the beginning suffered too much when trying to overtake Bottas. With that, the advantage that we had actually promised ourselves was gone. ”

On paper, the result gives Raikkonen and his car good marks. The Finn finished just 4.7 seconds behind the winner. But his opponents were also clearly handicapped. Verstappen lost 10 percent downforce with a damaged underbody, and Hamilton lost at least 4 tenths per lap with a broken engine. That puts the distance between Ferrari and the top in perspective.

Understanding the problem with the wind tunnel

Ferrari was too slow even with an intact car. The first signs were already in the qualification. Neither Vettel nor Räikkönen were able to improve on the supersoft tires compared to the soft compound as one should actually expect. And both Ferraris lost their sovereignty on the straights. Mercedes was exactly the same speed.

It quickly became clear that Ferrari had sacrificed top speed for downforce. Apparently out of fear for the rear tires, which were still blistering in the Friday long runs. And for fear of rain during qualification. The vote has put pressure on the lap times. With the usually outstanding top speed you would have gained more time than you lost in the corners.

Räikkönen couldn't keep up with Red Bull's pace.

It was Sunday also so much rubber wear on the track that blistering would have been a much less problem than on Friday. This is how Ferrari paid in the race. Vettel only overtook cars from midfield and was almost defenseless against the attacks of the Red Bull drivers. Raikkonen ran 44 laps against the Bastion Valtteri Bottas, although he was clearly faster. He didn't have a chance against Max Verstappen in the speed duel on the straight.

At least Ferrari found certainty on one point. The one in AustinThe subfloor presented with the vertical vortex generators did not work after the third attempt. The downforce is not as stable as with the standard floor. Interestingly, after the summer break, all developments that were made behind the front wheels came to nothing.

The front wing presented in Sochi and the front brake ventilation, on the other hand, delivered the desired results. Ferrari now finally knows that there is a correlation problem between laboratory and reality. Allegedly the reason for this has already been found. After all, a bright spot for 2019.


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