Ferrari ‘fake’ Friday’s to finish, says Arrivabene

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Brought to you by TJ13 contributor Fortis

Team principle Maurizo Arrivabene had set a target of 3 wins this season for his now rejuvenated Ferrari outfit. Presently, they are two more wins from reaching that target following Sebastien Vettel’s victory in Malaysia.

Mercedes have since won the next 7 races.

During this season’s Friday free practice sessions, the red outfit consistently delivers encouraging race pace that lead the analysts to predicting come Sunday, Ferrari look to be capable of challenging the Silver Arrows.

Yet as each race weekend ticks by, this promise of competition fades into the distance as the race unfolds.

Prior to making his one and only stop on Sunday in Austria, Sebastien Vettel’s deficit to the race leader was already over 10 seconds and the quadruple world champion was lap after lap around two tenths slower than Rosberg.

Following the chequered flag, Vettel gave his assessment on the Ferrari Friday-Sunday conundrum: “I don’t think our [Friday] pace disappeared, the car was feeling good, but the others were able to find a little bit,”

“Mercedes was able to run their high power mode – their qualifying mode, so to speak – more often in the race”.

Vettel concluded that for him, this phenomenon was ’no surprise’.

Maurizo Arrivabene is now calling for an end to the ‘fake’ Friday optimism created by his team. The Italian believes it is time to adopt a new approach to Ferrari’s Friday race simulations by running higher fuel levels, similar to Mercedes.

“My analysis is that it depends on how much fuel Mercedes has compared to us,” reveals Arivabenne.

“Now I have said to the engineers: it is better to work on Friday with full-full tanks so we can see a correct comparison rather than seeing a fake one.”

Ferrari has clearly made a step forward relative to 2014, but whether they have merely replicated the performance of the RB10 relative to the W05 – is a question that will remain unanswered for now.

The facts are, they are 2 races shy of Red Bull’s 2014 achievements – and Mercedes reliability this year has gone to a new level.

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8 responses to “Ferrari ‘fake’ Friday’s to finish, says Arrivabene

  1. Arrivebene seems to be wanting to walk the path of ‘under promise and over deliver’. A wiser path, in my opinion, but it’s also a better strategic way of working in terms of focusing on race simulations from the very start of Friday.

    Qualifying is a Mercedes 1-2 affair… Ferrari can do more for themselves by trying to get a greater understanding of their car in race trim, improving their race pace as a sole focus and building that up; so come Sunday they are better prepared. Vettel simply has to earn his pay in Q3 and keep qualifying 3rd as a minimum.

    We’ve already sseen the difference in one team between drivers where one focused on race pace over the entire weekend and the other on qualifying pure pace; searching for, but unable to hook up a perfect lap until lap1-Q3.

    Leave Friday glory where it belongs; in the desperate sponsor-searching midfield.

    • Monisha is calling for Ferrari, Renault and Honda to be allowed to develop their power units restriction free, but not Mercedes.

      • Is that right? That’s interesting, as well as a little unfair…

        Perhaps they should open development up completely, let the law of dimishing returns kick in – allowing for a natural equalisation – and then lock it all up.

    • It’s definitely a different approach from the team, I am not use to all this honesty..I did like LDM’s style with the ‘of cause we can’ approach but I am swinging to this new tune from my stable

      • It’s a pragmatic approach given Mercedes are a nearly-sure 1-2 in qualifying, no matter what; even when both their drivers spin away what’s supposed to be their best qualifying lap in Q3.

        Arrivebene so far seems a decent tactician, and that comment isn’t born merely from this story alone; I’ve noticed it elsewhere. Perhaps that’s why Bernie doesn’t like him much – which means he is A-OK in my book.

  2. To be fair to Ferrari, they won in Malaysia thanks to having marginally better race pace, Red Bull didn’t win any race due to having a faster car last year, they completely lucked in thanks to Mercedes having car problems/incidents (Canada/Spa) or making strategic mistakes (Hungary).

    There is little point in Ferrari not running with heavy fuel on a Friday really, their car isn’t a Mercedes beater. They’d do better to try and focus on race pace to actually apply some pressure to Rosberg & Hamilton, who’ve have virtually none (other than from each other) in 2014 or 2015.

    • I disagree, Ferrari won in Malaysia because of the freakish conditions and the cockup by Mercedes’ pit wall.

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