The Maranello Team Principal anticipates one of the key themes of the first seasonal appointment in the Old Continent.
Unlike in the past, the arrival of the World Cup in Europe after the very first part of the “overseas” season it will not be the scenario for the introduction of the first development step of the 2022 single-seaters. He explained it very effectively Mattia Binotto, consulted by motorsport.com. The Maranello Team Principal attributes the reasons for this discontinuity with tradition in the first place to particular timing of the fourth stage of the World Cup, which provides the first of the three Sprint races scheduled and which will be followed by a new transoceanic trip.
“At Imola we will not have many news: it is not the right occasion. At least as far as we are concerned. I believe that Sara a difficult weekend compared to the opportunity to introduce updates and the possibility of evaluating its effectiveness in free practice on Friday, which obviously will serve to prepare for the late afternoon qualifying. Instead, we will try to work further on the specific problems – such as hopping – that have affected us in Australia. For more significant updates, more on that later“.
As will happen in the weekend of the Austrian GP and then again in the Brazilian one, in Imola the schedule “on Friday includes sixty minutes of free practice in the early afternoon and then – from seventeen to eighteen – the qualification in view of the “Sprint” which will start at 16.30 on Saturday, three hours after the conclusion of the second free practice session. Compared to last season the qualification on Friday assigns the official pole position of the weekend, the one that … makes statistics.
More substantially, the importance of working immediately on the “time attack” set-up – for Ferrari and inevitably for its direct rivals – lies in the fact that the Sprint race this year assigns world championship points to the top eight classified and no longer – as in 2021 – only in the top three. Hence the increased importance of the GP-flash which preserves its Italian stage (Imola takes the place of Monza), replaces Silverstone with Spielberg and only confirms Sao Paulo in Brazil, with its precious European prime time schedules …
A quick look at the subsequent appointments on the calendar then clarifies so that Binotto essentially postpones to a later date (and not at the next GP tout court) the so-called “significant updates”. After Imola, in fact, the world-famous Circus embarks again single-seaters and spare parts on direct cargo in the USA for the debut of the Miami GP, another appointment from all points of view not very suitable for the first “upgrade”. Which at this point it is postponed to the Spanish GP on May 20-22 in Barcelona, almost a whole month after Imola! With Charles Leclerc clearly at the top of the drivers’ standings and an equally solid leadership among the Constructors, for Ferrari the prolonged stand-by appears to be advantageous but the situation also lends itself to a different and less reassuring reading: more time for the opponents (Red Bull and Mercedes) to correct their faults initials and perhaps a “lost” opportunity for the Scuderia to further extend the pace, fully exploiting the largely favorable inertia of this start of the World Championship.