Ferrari will supply a new SF1000 chassis to Sebastian Vettel for this week’s Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona after the team said it discovered “a small fault” with the German driver’s Silverstone car.
Vettel endured two consecutive weekends of struggled at Silverstone, the four-time world champion clearly outpaced by teammate Charles Leclerc in both races at the Northamptonshire track.
Vettel highlighted a lack of confidence in his SF1000 at the British Grand Prix, but felt a little better behind the wheel of his car at last weekend’s 70th Anniversary Grand Prix, although the 33-year-old’s race was undermined by a mistake on the opening lap and an unproductive strategy by his team.
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But Vettel also insisted he could not extract any more speed from his SF1000, hinting at a potential issue impacting his car’s performance. Ferrari has therefore built up a new car for Barcelona.
“We arrive in Barcelona knowing this will not be an easy weekend for us, given how testing went here in February,” said Simone Resta, the Scuderia’s Head of Chassis Engineering
“However, over the five races run so far, we have worked hard to try and improve our car’s performance and extract all its potential.
“We will obviously encounter much hotter weather with track temperatures expected to be well above 40°C: it will be an important factor, especially when it comes to the behaviour of the tyres, as we saw at the last two races in Silverstone.
“There will be no particular updates on the SF1000, however Sebastian will have a new chassis, because after the Silverstone post-race analysis, we spotted a small fault caused by a heavy impact over a kerb.
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“It would not have had much of an effect on performance, but it was the logical decision to take.”
Ahead of next weekend’s Spanish round, Vettel underscored the important role tyre management is likely to play once again.
“When you get to the Barcelona track you already know it will be a race where it’s the small details that make the difference.
“The teams and drivers all know this track very well and that’s why, right from the start of Friday free practice, you can work on fine tuning the car.
“This circuit is quite different to Silverstone and I am curious to find out how the car will feel here.
“We can expect very high temperatures and so it will be important to find a set-up that allows you to have good speed without causing excessive tyre wear.”
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