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Ferrari to split F1 Silverstone packages in chase for upgrade answers

The Ferrari Formula 1 team hopes to use free practice at the British Grand Prix to find further answers on why its upgrades haven’t yet translated into performance.

Ever since winning the Monaco Grand Prix with Charles Leclerc, Ferrari has generally slipped behind Mercedes in the pecking order despite a sizeable upgrade package in Spain.

While the new parts have brought some improvements, they have also induced bouncing in high-speed corners, which Leclerc and team-mate Carlos Sainz have identified as their main issue now, and that has negated some of the performance improvements.

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Given that Austria was a sprint weekend with just one free practice session, Ferrari hopes to use the British Grand Prix’s traditional format to dig deeper into why its car is not behaving as expected by doing back-to-back tests between the two cars.

“We revert to the standard format this weekend, which means we have three hours of free practice in which to find a set-up that allows us to exploit the benefits that the new parts should deliver,” team boss Fred Vasseur said.

“Knowing how best to set up the car can actually have a bigger effect on lap time than the specific benefits of any new components.”

Ferrari’s plans could be dashed by the British weather in Silverstone, with rainy conditions on Friday morning possibly derailing its test programme.

“If it rains [too much], then maybe the test that we wanted to do between both cars to confirm a few things will have to be postponed to the next race,” Leclerc said on Thursday.

Carlos Sainz, Scuderia Ferrari Charles Leclerc, Scuderia Ferrari , with Sky tv presenters playing football

Photo by: Simon Galloway / Motorsport Images

“However, we are still trying to work out on where we need to set up the car in order to maximise the potential of those upgrades, because the numbers that we were expecting from this upgrade are there.

“So, the upgrade is working the way it should be, but it’s more about where you run the car to optimise those numbers that we see. For now we haven’t quite managed to do that, so we are still working on that.”

Sainz added: “We accept and we realise that since Barcelona we have been less competitive than before Barcelona. This obviously raises a bit our concerns on the package and we need to try to understand as much as possible everything involved with it.”

Sainz suggested the bouncing issue might cost Ferrari even more lap time than first thought, with set-up compromises also affecting the car in lower-speed corners.

“Bouncing 100% costs you time. What I think is that it costs you even more time than what you think,” he explained.

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