After six grands prix and with just seven remaining (albeit this will rise in the coming days), it is time to look at where Ferrari stand on the technical side at the mid-season point.
Glance at the standings and it’s not good reading for Ferrari. It hasn’t started a season so badly since 2014, with a paltry 61 points in the Constructors’ Standings and fifth place behind Racing Point and McLaren.
The SF1000 is undeniably worse than the SF14-T, the first Ferrari of the hybrid era.
There are many reasons behind the step backwards that Ferrari have taken compared to 2019, including an engine limited by the new regulations and a working methodology that leads to a discrepancy between the wind tunnel data and the performance on the track.
The situation is therefore very grey for the Ferrari technicians, and for team principal Mattia Binotto, who has admitted that the SF1000 is based on a poor design concept. The 2020 Ferrari is a car probably born on the basis of the 2019 Power Unit 064, to which the Maranello technicians have tried to combine aerodynamics capable of generating more load.
However, with the new dual flow meter regulations, and the limitations of additive oils, Ferrari has found itself with at least 50 fewer horsepower, and with a car that generates a lot of drag. Add to all this a formidable Mercedes W11, which was not impacted by the regulatory changes many thought it might be in terms of the engine.
The technical changes to the SF1000’s floor and front wing do not seem to have delivered and Ferrari finds itself fighting in the midfield with the likes of Racing Point, McLaren, Renault and AlphaTauri. The Ferrari SF1000 suffers much more in qualifying than the race, in which the drivers still manage to be closer to Red Bull at least.
According to Binotto, the average loss in qualifying and the race is estimated at about seven-tenths on the straights and three-tenths in the corners, by taking the Mercedes W11 as a reference point.
A good 70 per cent of the technical gap from Mercedes is therefore attributable to the lack of performance from the Power Unit spec 065, and the freezing of the development of all the components does not help Ferrari in their recovery on Honda, Renault and Mercedes.
In all this darkness, however, there is a positive in that the Ferrari SF1000 is quite docile on the Pirelli tyres, enjoys better fuel consumption and less blistering than other teams such as Mercedes, Racing Point and McLaren. This figure, which emerged especially in the last two races in Barcelona and Silverstone, may be due to a series of factors, especially the fact that the Ferrari SF1000 is able to transmit a good vertical load to the tyre carcass, without stressing it too much.
The front suspension also helps Ferrari in their tyres management, which is the classic push rod suspension (with the strut), and with the steering rod placed at the height of the upper triangle. Mercedes, for example, has the steering rod in line with the lower triangle. Added to this is the choice is the use of mechanical third element, and not hydraulic one.