Before the F1 hit in Barcelona (Sunday, 3 p.m., ORF 1), Ferrari rummages in its bag of tricks.
As reported by AUSTRIA, all teams under the 2022 regulations have weight problems. “We are ten kilos too heavy,” Red Bull mastermind Helmut Marko had rumbled in early April. “It costs a few tenths every lap.” The 79-year-old summed up the problem with the cops: “Our cars have to go to Weight Watchers.”
Although Red Bull star Max Verstappen has reduced his gap to world championship leader Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) from 46 to 19 points, Marko is still not entirely happy with the hoped-for weight gains. “Unfortunately, this is a lengthy process…”, said the Bulls advisor to AUSTRIA. The new “diet craze” should not come at the expense of durability. Marko warns: “Another failure can cost Verstappen the World Cup!”
Ferrari: New paint should save 700 grams
With victories in the last two races in Imola and Miami, Verstappen put enormous pressure on Leclerc, who dominated the season at the beginning. Now Ferrari is also turning the weight screw. With a 98-year-old trick: the paint has to come off at the same time as aero updates: the omission of clear paint should make the F1-75 a good 700 grams lighter. This in turn brings valuable hundredths per round. On this occasion, historians dig up the story that in 1934 the maximum weight of 750 kg at Mercedes could only be saved by removing the paint – the hour of birth of the legendary Silver Arrow.
The traditional German team currently has completely different concerns. “The W13 is a bad design,” believes ORF man Ernst Hausleitner. New signing George Russell’s best time in Maimi’s Friday training session was apparently just a flash in the pan. In the race (5th Russell/6th Hamilton), the series world champion team landed back on earth. “We’re going through a painful process right now,” said team boss Toto Wolff. “We have to find out why we only had a good Friday and then were sort of in no man’s land.”
A few grams less would also be good for Mercedes. Wolff: “But that’s our lesser problem at the moment.” Bouncing, hitting the asphalt, is still causing the engineers more headaches.