Ferrari has taken one of their extra wind tunnel tests this season, gaining less than 0.1 seconds. Due to their poor ranking last year, they have more tests available this season than the top teams.
After the cost cuts in F1, the general wind tunnel testing was reduced from 65 to 40 sessions. This is the maximum for all teams, with the top ones having tougher restrictions. Mercedes, 2020 Constructors’ World Champion, is only allowed 36 tests this season, which is 90% of the baseline for 2021.
Ferrari, who finished sixth last year, is allowed to test 102.50% of the base value. According to their team principal Mattia Binotto, that means one more test, which he says had minimal impact on the car because the additional wind tunnel testing is equivalent to one week of development.
“Obviously for the position we finished last year we’ve got some more time at the wind tunnel. The extra time we’ve got is corresponding to what we call sessions of the wind tunnel in the entire season, so it’s an extra session.
“And normally an extra session is a week of development, and normally a week of development is less than 0.1 seconds per lap.
“So yes, it is certainly an advantage, but it’s less than 0.1 seconds per lap.
“It’s still important, I’m still happy to have it, not because of the result of last year but because at least it’s something we’ve got in 2021. But we don’t believe that that’s a game-changer. It is not.”
Compared to last year, Ferrari is one of the teams that has improved significantly. With 163 points at the moment, they are level with McLaren in P3 of the constructors’ standings. One of the reasons for this was Charles Leclerc, who took pole twice this season, one in Monaco and one in Baku. His teammate Carlos Sainz also showed up with two podiums.