Ferrari will stick with its new upgrade package for the Monaco Grand Prix after investigations confirmed it was not the cause of its lack of pace in Spain, Motorsport.com has learned.
The Italian outfit introduced a major overhaul of its SF-15 in Barcelona as part of an effort to close the gap to Mercedes.
But after a tricky weekend at Barcelona where it slipped further away from Mercedes than it had been at any other race, the team was left seeking answers for its problems.
Matters were also not helped by the fact that Kimi Raikkonen's decision to revert to the old specification package for Spain did not deliver a clear answer on overall pace.
Testing confirmed update worked
A lot of work was carried out at last week’s Barcelona test to properly evaluate the new package, and Ferrari was able to conclude that its form in Spain was not influenced by the aerodynamic updates.
Evaluation both on track and at the factory proved that the new upgrades were delivering the increase in downforce that was expected.
Mechanical grip the factor
The team’s conclusion is that its pace in Spain was related to a lack of mechanical grip and traction, which was highlighted by its particular struggles in sector three.
It lost 0.462 seconds to Mercedes there in qualifying, compared with losing just 0.160 seconds in the first sector and 0.207 seconds in the middle sector.
A Ferrari spokesman said: “We may suspect our car is more gentle on tyres than some other cars, and that probably hurt us more with the tricky track conditions. We struggled to get our tyres in to the right operating window.”
Its double-checking of the upgrade package means that both Sebastian Vettel and Raikkonen will run with the upgrades in Monaco – which will be supplemented with further specific developments for the street circuit.
Fuel clarification no issue
Ferrari is also adamant that the fuel pressure clarification that was issued at the Spanish GP did not have a role to play in its race form.
The FIA issued a technical note after qualifying to make it clear that teams had to run a constant fuel pressure to stop the practice of teams cleverly storing fuel beyond the fuel-flow meter and then using it at a part of the track to help acceleration.
“We are running the same fuel system that we have been running since Melbourne,” added the spokesman. “It has always been checked with the FIA.”