Ferrari have Montmelo marked in bright red on the 2022 Formula 1 calendar.
It is the stage where its first big kit or package of aerodynamic improvements are arriving, the first major evolution since the season started in Bahrain, with a clear objective: to get back ahead of Red Bull in terms of race pace on Sundays.
To do so, Ferrari will introduce a series of new parts including a modified floor and diffuser, a new half-loaded wing, and some modifications, which according to MARCA are aimed at lightening the weight of the current car to be close to the minimum of 798 kg.
There could also be a front wing in the package, to improve endurance and top speed, combined with the other elements mentioned above, but none of those are confirmed.
‘Porpoising’ is the technical term of the year, literally referring to continuous bouncing at high speed, especially at the end of the straights, when the new floor is unable to evacuate the compressed air that passes under the bottom of the car and there is repeated pitching so that the air is relieved by the sides of the car.
It can be solved by raising the car’s ground clearance, but the loss of performance is such that the teams suffering from it, especially Ferrari and Mercedes, would rather sacrifice driver comfort than car efficiency.
Ferrari hope to give Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz a car that is more precise under braking and less demanding on the neck and concentration than the one they have had so far.
It could help the Spaniard gain more confidence if the new floor and diffuser work in that respect.
Less weight for Ferrari
Two of Max Verstappen‘s victories, in Emilia-Romagna and Miami, have come due to the determining factor of excessive tyre degradation in some sections of the race, the sprint in the case of Imola and the first section of Sunday’s race in Florida.
These problems are intended to be balanced with the lighter-weight floor and a better distribution of the weights at the back of the F1-75, which is another of the main objectives of the evolution that arrives this weekend in Montmelo.
A half-loaded wing and DRS
The new half-load rear wing has been developed with the data taken from the first week of testing in February at the circuit.
Red Bull‘s superiority when they open the mobile wing of the DRS (an overtaking aid) is not only over Ferrari, but over the rest of the cars and in Maranello they have proposed solutions to reduce that difference in top speed in the critical moments of the race. In Barcelona, we will see if they work.
As for the engine, the specifications introduced for Sainz (Imola) and Leclerc (Miami) had modifications allowed by the FIA for reliability, so nothing different is expected for this weekend.
Ferrari see this weekend as a turning point at which they can reverse the current trend and return to the superiority seen from Leclerc in Australia.