The brand new technology of floor impact equipment has produced numerous surprises this yr, and groups have generally discovered themselves on the again foot at race weekends the place they anticipated to do a lot better.
However there has additionally been a flip facet to that too, in that generally groups discover their efficiency far exceeds what that they had anticipated.
Ferrari has been chasing solutions for that actual scenario this yr, with it having just lately struggled a lot at Spa-Francorchamps however then been a lot stronger in Monza – regardless of each tracks requiring low downforce and good aero effectivity.
Jock Clear, who’s the group’s senior efficiency engineer, confesses that even his squad’s finest engineers haven’t any full rationalization for why there was such various efficiency.
“Actually, if we actually knew these issues, we’d have the golden bullet,” he mentioned. “It’s actually tough to work these items out.
“You discuss to groups which are discovering actually good efficiency at a race, and also you discuss to groups that dropped again, and there’s a actual thriller to unravelling all of it. That’s why this job isn’t easy, and that’s why it’s so intriguing for all of you guys [the media] and all of us guys.”
Charles Leclerc, Ferrari F1-75, leads in the beginning
Picture by: Alessio Morgese
Whereas accepting that it can’t totally clarify why Spa was so tough and Monza was higher, Clear says that, as groups achieve extra expertise with the automobiles, they’re starting to unlock a a lot better understanding of what’s taking place.
“Actually, we don’t know all of the solutions, and we nonetheless don’t perceive precisely what went on in Spa,” he mentioned. “Now we have some concepts, and we’ve clearly acted on these.
“We’ve come to Monza, a equally low downforce circuit like Spa, although completely different, and we really feel that it seems to be like we’ve understood a few of what went on at Spa.
“It could end up later within the yr that we discover out some extra issues, however we’re regularly studying.
“None of us know all the particulars, as a result of it’s a relative sport, and on a regular basis it’s a relative sport, and also you don’t know what everybody else is doing, there’s a load of areas the place you must take your finest guess virtually.”
Charles Leclerc, Ferrari F1-75, passes the beached automotive of Carlos Sainz Jr., Ferrari F1-75
Picture by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Pictures
Clear doesn’t assume that the brand new technology of floor impact automobiles are particularly tough to grasp, however he believes the truth that the principles are of their infancy means groups have an extended option to go earlier than they’ll perceive them totally.
“I believe it’s simply because they’re so new,” added Clear. “There’s at all times going to be a steep studying curve with a brand new growth or a brand new algorithm, and everyone seems to be on that steep studying curve.
“We noticed that to start with of the yr. Lots of people have been saying [to us]: ‘Why is your automotive so fast early within the yr?’ It’s a relative sport.
“Perhaps we arrived simply understanding it a bit higher and a few individuals have been simply discovering out the place their automobiles have been.
“That was the beauty of coming right into a yr with a brand new regulation. There’s clearly the excessive efficiency facet of your automotive package deal, however there’s additionally coming to grasp that automotive, and the drivers’ understanding of learn how to drive it.
“With drivers of Max’s [Verstappen] high quality, Charles’ [Leclerc] high quality, Carlos’ [Sainz] high quality, you anticipate these guys to be on it right away. They’re human, they usually’re engaged on their expertise each day, they usually have improved through the yr. Perhaps they’ve understood extra.
“All of that comes collectively at completely different charges and completely different instances, and in several groups. When it’s a relative sport, you may’t actually know all of the solutions.”