At Monza, Ferrari’s home, the team will look to put behind it the horrific performance of Spa-Francorchamps a week ago where they finished near the bottom of the order, but that won’t be an easy task.
It’s well-known Ferrari lack straight-line speed as a consequence of their power unit undergoing some pre-season changes as a result of an FIA investigation, but the SF1000 is also a very ‘draggy’ car with inefficient aerodynamics playing their part in the Scuderia’s problems.
This weekend Ferrari will be required to strip as much downforce from the SF1000 in order to achieve half decent top speeds, which are of course incredibly important around Monza which is made up of four long straights.
Ferrari were already looking to Monza last weekend when, during free practice, they trialled a rear wing with a substantially neutral main profile in the pursuit of straight-line speed to make up for the lack of power of the power unit.
At Spa the difficulties of both drivers were evident. They could not overtake in the wake of another car along the Kemmel straight, nor could they defend themselves from attacking cars.
In Monza Ferrari will still find a track with higher temperatures than those seen in Belgium, therefore tyres are still likely to be an issue as they were in Spa – Ferrari openly admitted they couldn’t get them to work.
Of course we also have the banning of the so-called ‘party-mode’. Ferrari are hoping this will reduce the gap to Mercedes’ powered cars, especially in qualifying, where it’s expected Mercedes and its teams will suffer an almost 50 horsepower loss.
This weekend the team are using a rear-wing with a chord substantially shorter than what was used at Spa, and the mobile flap of the DRS closes further in the endplate area. We can see in the detailed image the extremely unloaded rear wing brought to Monza by Ferrari on the SF1000, in which the T-Wing was also removed.
The front wing is also the one already tested at Spa a week ago, first during the first free practice session, which has the last flap at the top cut to minimise drag. Ferrari, therefore, which already has some track data on these aerodynamic solutions brought to Monza, is set for another tough weekend!
Mercedes, which introduced a big upgrade package in Belgium, will bring to Monza a rear wing very similar to that of Ferrari – very flat, but with a main profile a little more loaded than the SF1000. Already at Spa, Mercedes did not use the T-wing on the W11, and confirmed this choice also in Monza.
Mercedes also brings to Italy an engine cover with reduced vents, despite the higher temperatures. We will see if this solution will be confirmed also in qualifying and in the race where hotter temperatures are forecast. The narrower cover, with fewer openings, obviously cuts drag and gains top speed.