The eighth round of the F1 World Championship sees the GP circus head for Austria’s Red Bull Ring, previously known asA1 Ring and before that, Osterreichring, for the first time since 2003.
A gap of over a decade makes it a brand new circuit from a technical point of view, with none of the data any of the teams might still have being valid today.
With only eight or nine corners, depending on what one believes constitutes a turn, this track at 4.326 km in length, although the third shortest after Monaco and Sao Paolo, is going to be the shortest in terms of lap time.
Like all teams, Ferrari will be relying more than usual on simulation work to provide a set-up baseline, although one aspect that cannot be simulated is tyre wear.
“We will have the Soft and Super-soft Pirellis, just as we did in the last two races,” says the Scuderia’s Technical Director James Allison. “We cannot be sure what to expect but, as at any of the tracks this year, management of the Option in Qualifying will be extremely important. You need to ensure that you get the tyre prepared for a hot lap in Q2, while being sure that the tyre can then cope with the first stint of the race.”
Allison is heavily involved in the Scuderia’s efforts to speed up development on the F14 T.
“Every season is dominated by the efforts back at the factory to try to improve the package. If you’re in front you work to stay in front and if you’re not, then your efforts are aimed at moving your way up the grid,” said the Englishman.
“Currently, we’re doing our level best across every aspect of the car: mechanically, aerodynamically, electronically, every single component, set up wise, everything we can do to try to improve is being done. In recent races we have brought more upgrades than usual to the track and this has improved our position marginally.”
“We just need to keep fighting the same fight, we have upgrade plans race by race. If we do a good job with all of those, it will start to tell and we will start to see Ferrari run more consistently, relative to the opposition. But it’s not an easy fight, and it’s a fight that never ends.” (GP247-Ferrari)