Ferrari has been forced to overhaul its car

Ferrari has been forced to overhaul its car

The current Ferrari car was photographed during winter testing

Ferrari has been forced into a major redesign of its car due to flaws discovered since it passed pre-season tests in February.

Team boss Mattia Binotto said understanding why the car was not the pace led to a “significant change of direction in terms of development”.

The result is that the car will run in the pre-season specification in the race for the postponed opening of the season this weekend in Austria.

The upgrade is set to debut at the Hungarian Grand Prix from July 17th to 19th.

Binotto said the team was forced to revise its approach to car aerodynamics after investigating its lack of performance.

“We had to understand why we didn’t see the results we expected along the way and how much to re-calibrate the entire program as a result,” Binotto said.

“It would be counterproductive to continue in the direction we planned, knowing we would not achieve our goals.

“So we decided to come up with a new program that looked at the whole car, knowing that not everything would be ready for the first race.

“Our goal is to present the upgrades in the third race at the Hungaroring.

“Besides, above the actual development of the car itself, we have worked a lot in the past few weeks to analyze its behavior, with the work of the simulation and with the help of our drivers and I think it will prove its value in Austria.

“We know we don’t have the fastest package at the moment. We knew that before we headed to Melbourne and that hasn’t changed.

“Having said that, the Spielberg circuit has different characteristics for Montmelo (in Spain, where the testing took place) and the temperatures will be significantly higher than those from February.

“In Austria we have to make an effort and take every opportunity, and then in Hungary, with a new step of development we are working on we will be able to see where we really are compared to others, and we have to take into account developments that our competitors will bring.”

The result is that Ferrari is unlikely to fight to win the first two races at the Red Bull Ring this weekend and next.

Not only have they already left the pace of Mercedes and Red Bull, but both rivals have had upgrades on their cars that will make them faster.

Mercedes has delivered a significant aerodynamic upgrade to its car as Lewis Hamilton boosts its bid to win a record seventh world title.

And Red Bull have an improved Honda engine that will add to its aerodynamic advancement.

Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel, who starts the season knowing he will be his last with the team, said: “We have to be realistic when it comes to the peer order seen in the tests, but we are not behind.”

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