Development Race Key Among Ferrari McLaren Red Bull

Development Race Key Among Ferrari, McLaren, Red Bull


As F1 evolves, the strategic updates from Ferrari, McLaren, and Red Bull redefine the competitive landscape. The race for development will make the difference between Ferrari, McLaren, and Red Bull. The balance of power will vary with the arrival of updates.

Carlos Sainz’s and now Lando Norris’s victories in the first six Grand Prix of 2024 suggest that Max Verstappen’s grip on Formula 1 might now be weakening.

Miami was not a smooth weekend for the Red Bull driver, who was affected by the safety car’s timing on Sunday and also sustained damage to the floor after hitting a bollard.

“There was a hole in the floor. But I don’t think it cost me the victory. We just didn’t have enough pace.”

Indeed, Charles Leclerc also believes that Norris and McLaren deserved the win.

“I don’t think I could have won. McLaren was too strong. But I had the same speed as Max.”

While Oscar Piastri must wait until Imola to receive the full upgrade package, the development race is well underway among the top teams and should decide the balance of power.

Ferrari will have a significant improvement on their car at Imola, and Leclerc is heavily relying on it to gain an advantage.

“It will be a very important upgrade. It will determine how the rest of our season unfolds. I am looking forward to it and hope we can make a big step forward.”

“It’s going to be an arms race for upgrades this year, and I’m glad we will soon have new parts on our car that, hopefully, will be as good as McLaren’s.”

Frédéric Vasseur, however, downplays the extent of the gains to be expected.

“We’re at a point in car development where if you add something new to the car, it’s no longer a matter of seconds, it’s a matter of tenths.”

“It’s not like a few years ago, where every new feature could bring in 3 to 4 tenths. There’s a variance from one track to another, from one tire compound to another, and that makes a bigger difference than what a major update to your F1 car can counter.”

“The update at Imola will certainly help us, but it will always depend more on the work we do on track.”

Similarly, McLaren team principal Andrea Stella is not getting carried away with the Miami upgrade, insisting that Red Bull and Verstappen “did not have a clean weekend.”

“If we want to challenge Red Bull over the long term, we need another upgrade package like this one.”

“I think yes, we’ve improved the car, we know how much we’ve improved it and that’s important—you should see it in the lap times. But this race for Red Bull was a bit tricky. So, before saying that the pace we’ve seen is a representation of the future, I want to see more.”

“We take this positive, we take this encouragement, it’s actually more energy for us to develop, maybe even faster than what we’re doing. But in my opinion, if you want to consistently beat Red Bull, it takes much more. Previously in Japan, we were six tenths off Red Bull in qualifying. In China, once again, we were a few tenths off.”

“It would be completely unrealistic to think that what we’re seeing after Miami is an updated picture of competitiveness. Red Bull hasn’t maximized its package in my opinion.”

His counterpart at Red Bull, Christian Horner, agrees: “McLaren has made a step forward, but only the next few races will show how significant it really is.”

Horner also promises further developments for the RB20.

“The development race will make the difference between Ferrari, McLaren, and us. It could be a very interesting and exciting rest of the season.”

Development Race Key Among Ferrari McLaren Red Bull

Development Race Key Among Ferrari, McLaren, Red Bull. Development Race Key Among Ferrari, McLaren, Red Bull

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