F1 GP Singapore: Thus was born Ferrari’s advantage over Red Bull

The RB-19s, eliminated in Q2, were significantly affected by the new FIA guidance on wing elasticity: compared to the red aircraft, they lost out on all track sections.

Red Bull’s difficulties at the Marina Bay Circuit culminated in the elimination of Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez, 11th and 13th respectively, in Q2 after qualifying for the Singapore Grand Prix. It had been clear since Friday that the RB19s were suffering from difficulty entering corners, but above all a strong instability at the rear on exit. After the dramatic elimination, the team spoke generally about setup issues, although different combinations were tried in terms of wing flip, suspension set-up and ground clearance in Free Practice 3. Christian Horner himself tried to play down the impact that the introduction of the FIA ​​TD/guidelines would have. 018, which limits the flexibility and controlled deformation of the wing elements, on the vehicle.

Separation in various sectors

However, by analyzing the chronometer data for the best times in each sector, it emerges that the RB19 cars lost around a net second compared to the Ferraris, on the hypothetical ideal lap (the sum of the best times in each sector). In the first sector, the difference between the time of the two Ferraris and that of the two RB19 cars was around 4 tenths, a gap that was also confirmed in T2, and dropped to 2 tenths in the third sector, in fact the fastest section of the track. The sectoral analysis allows us to evaluate this in a direct comparison between the lap in which Carlos Sainz took pole and Verstappen’s lap, where the Spaniard was 2.5 tenths ahead of the Dutch driver in the slow corners, and in the faster section by about 2.50 seconds. 3 tenths. These are the values ​​that indicate how slow the Milton Keynes team’s single seater actually was everywhere: a fact that strongly calls into question the hypothesis that it was simply an incorrect setup that affected its performance significantly.

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Sensitivity to load transfer

The impression one gains from observing the dynamic behavior of the RB19, which on Saturday relied on decidedly lower ground clearances than on Friday, and thus returned to the setup used in all the races held so far, is that it was very sensitive to longitudinal elevations. Transferring loads, and suffering from instability in the rear axle. This fact was already highlighted in FP3, where Red Bull also suffered from problems transferring torque too abruptly when upshifting, but also when downshifting. This is something Verstappen repeatedly complained about during his radio communications with his race engineer, Gianpiero Lambiasi. This is another indication of how sensitive the single-seat car is, in terms of the driver’s sensation, to any factor that could change its settings, albeit imperceptibly.

Red Bull, the balance is upset

By this we mean to say that the RB19 has changed its face in Singapore, going from a stable single-seat car that stuck to the asphalt and was insensitive to bumps, to a vehicle with unpredictable behavior when exiting corners and unstable under braking. Since no innovations were introduced to the car at the development level, and it was limited to adopting high-load wings, it seems correct to look at the behavior of a single seat, influenced by external elements. We intend to say, in refutation of the statements of the team leaders, that it could only have been the introduction of FIA Directive TD/018 that upset the very delicate balance of this car. After experimenting with different configurations and settings, with different ground clearances, without arriving at a satisfactory solution that induces sufficient energy in the tires and ensures adequate stability for the single seat and thus confidence for the drivers, he points out one thing: the effects associated with the impossibility of managing the load generated by the wings, both in straight lines and in curves. , through controlled deformation of the panels, had a devastating effect on the car’s balance.

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Ferrari, the balance is fine

As for Ferrari, it seems clear that the balance of the SF-23 has been almost perfect since the start of the weekend. What was striking, as at Monza, was almost the entire essence of the race Sea porpoisesAlthough the car has adopted very low ground clearance, it is certainly not conservative regarding the bumps in the Marina Bay asphalt. As the pilots reiterated, it seems clear that a way has been found in the SF-23 since Monza, to manage the load distribution, to make the aerodynamic center of pressure more stable, and to reduce longitudinal mass transfers.

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