Ferrari faces perhaps their hardest weekend yet at the Belgian Grand Prix, still under intense pressure this season. The Ardennes forests in which the weaves of the Spa-Francorchamps circuit would bring nowhere to hide, violently revealed the shortcomings of their car. The meeting that Ferrari has been imperious at in recent years is expected to be a tough, demanding weekend with the Scuderia reduced from competing for the title to scrapping for a place in the rankings.
Charles Leclerc scored his F1 debut victory over here a year ago. Sebastian Vettel took the flag in the intervening year. Ferrari’s straight-line pace proved indomitable on both occasions. Vettel just sped past Lewis Hamilton and won by 11 seconds and likewise Mercedes was unable to equal Leclerc’s pace in his untroubled pole victory. It’s going to be a different story this year, Ferrari mired with the midfield teams in a slugging battle and at Spa it’s a war where they’re going to have to catch some licks.
Ferrari faces challenges
The Ferrari has been down on speed after the FIA put a clarification of the regulations on their power unit at the end of last season. Their team chief, Mattia Binotto, has also acknowledged the results cost them. By the first and third high-speed sectors at Spa the price was big. Worse still, the car of this year still generates so much drag, contributing to the power disadvantage and driving is a mess. An unholy trinity recognized at the very highest level, for drivers and team alike.
“Thanks to project failures. We are not successful this year”. Ferrari chairman John Elkann also said. “We have had a range of structural flaws. Flaws in aerodynamics and in the vehicle dynamics that have also persisted for some time. In engine power we have missed out.
Spa rehearsal also carried a somber prognosis. The time sheets were led by Valtteri Bottas and Hamilton in the first session. With Red Bull ‘s Max Verstappen at the top in the afternoon. While Ferrari was on uncharted ground. In the first session Leclerc was 14th and Vettel 15th. And in the second the pair was an incredible 15th and 17th. They ‘d been behind the leaders’ pace a second and a half.