Ferrari form dip "interesting" after pole run – Allison

Ferrari’s inability to score pole position at the last two Formula 1 race having held a strong qualifying advantaged before that is “interesting”, says Mercedes technical director James Allison.

Ferrari form dip "interesting" after pole run – Allison

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen has qualified on pole for the Brazilian Grand Prix, two weeks after Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas topped qualifying in the United States.

Ferrari had started the previous six grands prix from pole position, although it was only fastest in five of those as its most recent pole came after poleman Verstappen picked up a grid penalty in Mexico.

More significantly, Ferrari’s qualifying defeats in the US and Brazil each followed technical directives from the FIA issued to stop teams potentially exploiting oil burning and fuel flow regulations for performance gains.

Verstappen has led suggestions that the FIA’s decrees have triggered Ferrari’s lost qualifying edge, rather than coincided with it.

After a strong Friday at Interlagos with significantly superior straightline speed, that advantaged was significantly reduced in qualifying.

Asked by Motorsport.com for his thoughts on Ferrari’s change in straightline speed gains in Brazil, Allison warned against making assumptions but admitted Ferrari’s shift in form was noteworthy.

“I think they were still pretty useful on the straights,” said Allison. “But not quite as marked as it was [Friday].

“That could be all sorts of things. We all run different power modes on a Friday.

“Probably the only thing that you could stand back from a distance and say is that it's two races on the trot where it hasn't been pole position for a Ferrari. And they sort of had a reasonably comfortable margin.

“So it's an interesting thing, but not anything you could draw any solid conclusions from.

“They’re still a quick car on the straights and let's just see how they are in the race tomorrow, how they are in the in the races to come.”

Read Also:

Verstappen outqualified the lead Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel by just over a tenth at Interlagos, where the Red Bull was fastest in the twisty middle sector.

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc narrowly topped the speed trap figures and held a bigger 5.6km/h advantage over Verstappen at the finish line, but was only 2.2km/h faster than the best Mercedes.

Leclerc also set the fastest time in sector three, which comprises the Juncao left-hander and then a flat-out blast lasting more than a kilometre to the finish line, but both Mercedes and Red Bulls were within a tenth.

Asked if he was surprised by the performance of Verstappen and Red Bull, Allison said: “I'd clearly prefer it if it was us that was on pole.

“But Max has looked quick all weekend and it's not the first time this year that Max has been the quickest car.

“So it would be wrong to say this is a complete bolt from the blue.

“That's a very good car and an extremely good driver so they did a better job than we did and deserved pole position.”

shares
comments
Sainz vows to take “maximum attack” approach in Brazil

Previous article

Sainz vows to take “maximum attack” approach in Brazil

Next article

Mercedes hurt by altitude weakness more than expected

Mercedes hurt by altitude weakness more than expected
Load comments
French Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

French Grand Prix driver ratings

The French GP was a weekend decided by tiny margins both at the front of the field, as Red Bull inflicted a comeback defeat on Mercedes, and in the battle for the minor points places. That's reflected in our driver ratings, where several drivers came close to a maximum score

How Red Bull took French GP "payback" on a day of Mercedes mistakes Prime

How Red Bull took French GP "payback" on a day of Mercedes mistakes

The French GP has been a stronghold for Mercedes since Paul Ricard's return to the calendar in 2018. But that all changed on Sunday, as a clever two-stop strategy guided Red Bull's Max Verstappen to make a race-winning pass on the penultimate lap - for once leaving Mercedes to experience the pain of late defeat it has so often inflicted on Red Bull

The Mercedes lap that puts F1 victory fight back on a knife-edge Prime

The Mercedes lap that puts F1 victory fight back on a knife-edge

Red Bull led the way after the first two practice sessions for the 2021 French Grand Prix, but only just ahead of Mercedes. There was all the usual practice skulduggery complicating the performance picture, but one aspect seen at the world champion squad gave it a ‘surprise’ lift, as it looks to leave its street-circuit struggles firmly in the past.

Formula 1
Jun 19, 2021
How Ferrari got its F1 recovery plan working Prime

How Ferrari got its F1 recovery plan working

After its worst campaign in 40 years, the famous Italian team had to bounce back in 2021 – and it appears to be delivering. Although it concedes the pole positions in Monaco and Baku paint a somewhat misleading picture of its competitiveness, the team is heading into the 2022 rules revamp on much stronger footing to go for wins again

Formula 1
Jun 18, 2021
The joy that exposes F1’s key weakness Prime

The joy that exposes F1’s key weakness

Long-awaited wins for ex-Formula 1 drivers Marcus Ericsson and Kevin Magnussen in IndyCar and IMSA last weekend gave F1 a reminder of what it is missing. But with the new rules aimed at levelling the playing field, there’s renewed optimism that more drivers can have a rewarding result when their day of days comes

Formula 1
Jun 17, 2021
The F1 figures Red Bull and Mercedes can't afford to see again Prime

The F1 figures Red Bull and Mercedes can't afford to see again

OPINION: An interloper squad got amongst the title contenders during Formula 1’s street-circuit mini-break, where Red Bull left with the points lead in both championships. But, as the campaign heads back to purpose-built venues once again, how the drivers of the two top teams compare in one crucial area will be a major factor in deciding which squad stays in or retakes the top spot

Formula 1
Jun 16, 2021
Why Alfa's boss is up to the task of securing a stronger F1 future Prime

Why Alfa's boss is up to the task of securing a stronger F1 future

Two tenth places in recent races have lifted Alfa Romeo to the head of Formula 1's 'Class C' battle in 2021, but longer-term the Swiss-based squad has far loftier ambitions. With the new 2022 rules set to level out the playing field, team boss Frederic Vasseur has good reason to be optimistic, as he explained to Motorsport.com in an exclusive interview

Formula 1
Jun 15, 2021
How Barnard's revolutionary McLaren transformed F1 car construction Prime

How Barnard's revolutionary McLaren transformed F1 car construction

The MP4/1 was pioneering by choice, but a McLaren by chance. STUART CODLING relates the tangled (carbon fibre) weaves which led to the creation of one of motor racing’s defining cars

Formula 1
Jun 15, 2021