A successful in-season test session in Barcelona has filled Scuderia Ferrari Technical Director James Allison, with high confidence ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix this weekend, where he believes a good battle will ensue between the top teams.
After struggling to match the pace of Red Bull Racing’s new recruit Max Verstappen during the Spanish Grand Prix and not taking advantage of main rivals Mercedes AMG PETRONAS early exit when their drivers took each other out at the start of the race, Allison set to work on getting to the bottom of the issues experienced at the track during the in-season test that followed, and he was extremely pleased with their progress as he explained to f1i.com.
“We spent a couple of days in Barcelona after the grand prix through a whole range of technical set-ups and improvements to our car. It was a very successful test for us and happily we made some progress. So, we are looking forward to taking more lessons and applying them in Monaco.”
Ferrari’s problems at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya reared their head in qualifying, when the Maranello-based squad were off the pace, qualifying down the order behind both Mercedes and Red Bull drivers. The final sector of the track was also where the red team lost a lot of time and speed to their rivals, and that section in particular is reminiscent of the layout we will see at the Monte-Carlo circuit this weekend, so it was crucial Allison was able to discover the cause of their weaknesses ahead of the race.
“[Monaco] is a circuit, of course, where a good grid position is absolutely everything for getting a good race result. That good grid position comes from a whole weekend where you can’t afford any mistakes.
“The track changes so much as the weekend progresses that you have to be on it all the time. This is a very high downforce circuit, the corners being so slow, the straights being so short, and the cars which have the most downforce available generally do well on this track.”
Having not taken victory at the Monaco Grand Prix, since Michael Schumacher won there in 2001, Ferrari will be looking to make amends on that front on Sunday. The Italian squad are clearly optimistic, believing they have improved the car to be competitive on the streets of Monte-Carlo, which will perhaps even give them the edge needed to take their first win of the season.