Understanding tyre issues could turn Ferrari season around

World © Octane Photographic Ltd. Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H – Sebastian Vettel. Saturday 28th May 2016, F1 Monaco GP Practice 3, Monaco, Monte Carlo. Digital Ref : 1568LB5D8362 - Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

After struggling to get their tyres into the optimum working performance window during the 2016 Monaco Grand Prix, which was ultimately the reason Sebastian Vettel did not even make the podium on Sunday, Scuderia Ferrari Boss Maurizio Arrivabene has called for the Maranello based squad to get on top of their tyre management woes as soon as possible, or else they risk being left behind by their rivals.

During Saturday’s qualifying session in Monte-Carlo, Vettel went quicker in the Q2 segment than he was able to manage in the final segment, a statistic the Ferrari squad are struggling to understand. Speaking to Motorpsort.com, Arrivabene explained their conundrum.

“We know the problem is related to how our car works with the tyres, we have to work and solve this problem, because if we cannot start in the top positions then we face problems that should not be ours.

“Look what happened in the race [in Monaco]. To recover positions we had to make an aggressive strategy and that put us behind Felipe Massa – who should not be our rival.

“The strategy choice was correct: but it is a choice that we would not have to make if we had qualified better.”

Tyres have been the cause of much consternation this season already, with the recommended pressure levels set by Pirelli, deemed too high by many of the teams. Some squads are thought to have found a way around the restriction, though nothing has been proved to back those suspicions up as yet. It is certainly proving to be a sore area however, and one that will possibly rumble on for the majority of the season, if the FIA do not step in and neutralise the situation.

Arrivabene believes that if the red squad can master the pressures and management of their tyres, then a big step up in performance will be seen.

“It is an issue that deserves to be dealt with in great detail.

After scoring just 15 points from Sunday’s race with Vettel’s fourth place their only car home, Ferrari need to improve their game if they have any chance of toppling rivals Mercedes AMG PETRONAS, or even Red Bull Racing for that matter.