Ferrari expects similar step forward from Spanish GP upgrade

Ferrari’s new upgrade package that it has introduced at the Spanish Grand Prix is similar in expected performance gain to the step it introduced in Imola, according to senior performance engineer Jock Clear.

A major upgrade for Imola put Ferrari in the mix for pole position and the victory, while Charles Leclerc followed up with a win in Monaco the following week. At Barcelona the team has brought an increased sidepod and engine cover undercut, changes to the floor fences, floor body and floor edge, a reworked diffuser and tweaks to the halo, and Clear says the targeted performance improvement is along the same lines.

“I’d say it’s similar,” Clear said. “When we quantify an upgrade, we’re only talking performance — that’s what it’s all about at the end of the day. We could talk some interesting numbers that the aero department produce, but how much lap time it produces is always our measure.


“We’ve spoken in the past about how subtle some of the effects on air are, certainly at the back of the car. And this was in parallel with Imola, so this isn’t a reaction to Imola, if you see what I mean — this isn’t the upgrade from Imola and then we look at what it did. This was always a scheduled upgrade that’s in parallel.

“So the fact we’re bringing it here, as long as it performs as we expect — and in the recent past we’ve had very good correlation, so we have no reason to believe it won’t — again, that’s good confirmation we understand what’s going on on this car.

“We didn’t have to wait for the Imola package and say, ‘OK, what did that do? Now we go in this route,’ We knew what the Imola package would do, and it did what it should do. In parallel we were also looking at the next step beyond that, and that’s what you see here.”

With the upgrade targeting similar areas as the one introduced in Imola as well, Clear says there was a concerted push to bring it to Spain for the first race of a European tripleheader of consecutive race weekends.

“It was somewhat fast-tracked. I’ve said before, Barcelona is a fantastic circuit to evaluate a car. So if you can, you’re always going to want to come to Barcelona with a package — that’s why we do pre-season [testing] here. And as a result of doing pre-season, we’ve got so much experience here that it levels all of the other variables for us and you get a good read on a package.

“So it’s always a good place to come. I think honestly, because the Imola package was a good step, I think maybe this was scheduled for later — this tripleheader offers you three good opportunities. Austria and Silverstone are also very good.

“But yeah, we did push it forward a bit, just because it’s super close at the moment and if you can come one race earlier, actually the gains are doubled, effectively. Because it’s always a race, isn’t it? It’s not just what our upgrades are doing, it’s what other people are doing. And if we can just get an upgrade one step earlier than the others, then you carry that forward a bit.”

Story originally appeared on Racer