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.