Was it the TD39 Technical Directive that caused Ferrari to lose its competitive level? Until the beginning of the summer, the F1-75 had managed to keep up the pace against Red Bull, giving Prancing Horse fans hope that they could contend for the championship title. But in the summer break, with the entry into force of the regulations related to the floor of the single-seater in the Belgian Grand Prix, there was a collapse of results due to the excessive wear of the front tires of the red car.
Ferrari’s ambitions cooled again despite victory in Austria and repeated pole positions from Charles Leclerc, but that is proof that the Maranello car has enough speed to fight the RB18 of Max Verstappen and Sergio Pérez .
In the Singapore GP, the Italians managed to be the fastest on Saturday with the Monegasque, while in Suzuka they missed pole position by only 10 thousandths, something that confirms how fast the red machine is, but it does not have consistency in race. The issue of the TD39 came to light again after a statement by the FIA technical director, Nikolas Tombazis , who admitted that some cars at Spa-Francorchamps were adapted to the modifications to be better at flexing the bottoms.
Some interpreted the words of the Greek as the possible cause of the loss of competitiveness of those in red, returning again to put the technical regulations as responsible. Ferrari director Mattia Binotto explained what had happened at his team, and blamed the rules for his slump in performance.
“That something has changed when applying TD39, or that it has affected the speed, I still say that was not the reason why we lost competitiveness, especially because Hungary went through before Belgium,” he said.
“We had already lost level in Hungary, it is not the technical regulations, but Red Bull’s ability to develop their car that has penalized us,” he continued. “We have not performed as well as them, but the rest of the grid, apart from Mercedes who were further back, we have maintained our position.”
Ferrari has maintained its pace of development throughout the world championship, although there are others who have made a greater leap. By capacity or by being able to spend more resources than allowed with the budget limit?
The doubt is legitimate after the FIA confirmed that Red Bull exceeded the budget ceiling of last season 2021 in which they won the title with Max Verstappen.
New background of the Ferrari F1-75 for the Japanese GP
But going back to the influence of the TD39 on the performance of the F1-75, we can add another element that refutes Tombazis’s theory. In Singapore, the FIA had suspended the technical directive, fearing that potholes on the urban layout could cause porpoising .
Well, in Marina Bay, Ferrari decided not to release the new fund that was later used in Suzuka, and from Maranello it was said that it would not make any difference if it was used or not in Singaporean lands, but the feeling was that they wanted to give another opportunity to the setting before the direct influence of the TD39.
And, seeing the results, nothing has changed, a sign that the weak point of those in red is elsewhere, so it is vitally important to ask where that comes from. Maybe it’s tire wear?
That is what they will have to solve in the four remaining rounds, and they hope to win a race again and avoid being in the same dilemma next year of not being able to beat Red Bull.
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