Although Scuderia Ferrari’s main focus remains set on catching Mercedes AMG PETRONAS in 2016, Team Principal Maurizio Arrivabene has confirmed they also have smaller teams currently dedicated to working on their 2017 and 2018 F1 projects.
In their pursuit of the current world champions, Ferrari now have only three engine development tokens remaining for the rest of the season, and as yet none of their updates have yielded that all important win.
Bad luck has played its part, as well as a number of technical problems, but that does not get away from the fact that the Maranello based squad have yet to take a victory this season, despite having numerous opportunities to take advantage of their competitors poor fortune.
They have also not won a world championship since Kimi Raikkonen took the title back in 2007, and for a team as passionate as Ferrari, that sort of drought will just not do.
Speaking to Autosport.com recently Arrivabene confirmed the Italian team’s position, “I have always said the team that is working here is focused on this year because the gap is quite big. I think we can fight, I’m sure we can fight. In the meantime, we have a different methodology to work so we have a team that is focused on this year’s car. We also have a little team that is focused on next year’s car and another that is looking after 2018, especially on the engine.”
Ferrari have struggled with tyre management more than their closest rivals this season, and at certain tracks this has hampered their campaign, when they should have been taking the initiative.
The Monaco Grand Prix in particular was a low point for the squad, with both drivers unable to get their tyres switched on throughout the weekend, and Sebastian Vettel unable to go any faster in the final segment of qualifying, than he had managed in Q2.
The high tyre pressure levels set by Pirelli this season, who have raised the minimum limit allowed in 2016, have been a bone of contention with many F1 squads up and down the paddock, and that along with the greater range of tyre options now available to teams this year, has meant drivers have to work much harder on managing the life of the rubber.
So far, Ferrari have not been able to get the balance of the SF16-H into that sweet spot, but with pressures possibly set to be lowered by Pirelli sometime soon, could we be about to see a step up in the red teams performance, during the latter half of the season?