In the previous era of F1, when there was ultra-high downforce, the difficulty of overtaking meant that teams focused more on setting up their cars to gain positions in qualifying, knowing that drivers starting behind them they would have a hard time keeping up with them and would wear out their tires more.
The switch to ground effect cars for 2022 has seen that phenomenon reduced, as dirty air is thrown higher and wider towards chasing cars, reducing the extra slip for drivers who suffer from unpredictable flare-ups. of oversteer.
That has been a key factor why Ferrari’s 10 pole positions to Red Bull’s five so far have allowed the energy drinks guys to stay ahead in races, not including those where Ferrari’s strategy and Errors of his pilots made things easier for Verstappen and his.
Ferrari’s F1-75 has also generally been stronger on higher downforce tracks compared to Red Bull’s RB18, leading Sergio Pérez to declare that the Scuderia was “particularly strong at this location [Singapore]”. at the press conference prior to the event.
Carlos Sainz responded by saying that “if they think we are going to be competitive, imagine what we think about how they are going to be, since they have won the last five or six races”, before suggesting that the Marina Bay track in Singapore will favor who manages to get the pole.
Unlike the Baku urban layout, which has very long straights that make overtaking easier, Singapore features a series of medium-speed corners with a single line, while its acceleration zones are not as long.
That combination could therefore reduce the overtaking spectacle we’ve seen so far in 2022, which would encourage teams to focus more on qualifying and trust their drivers to hold on to the top spots on the grid, as It happened in the previous era.
Such an approach would better suit Ferrari, which is usually quicker in qualifying, while at the same time relieving pressure on its race slump against Red Bull in recent events.
“I think we can fight,” Sainz added, “especially in qualifying.”
“It’s a circuit where if you’re ahead in the race you have more chances of winning than in Spa and Monza, when we started ahead of them.”
“So we’re going to do our best: try to nail down qualifying and see what we can do in the race.”
Max Verstappen’s words to the same effect suggest that Red Bull is so concerned about the difficulty of overtaking in Singapore that its main objective is to beat Ferrari on pole, as it was unable to do in the Monaco GP.
There, rain spoiled Leclerc’s run to a likely home win and bad weather may also be a factor teams have to consider when setting up their cars for the first Singapore race since 2019.
“Yes, I think our car could adapt a bit better to what we saw in Monaco,” said Verstappen. “But we have to focus on getting a good lap.”
“This year, I think we’ve never really been unbelievable in one lap. We’ve always been good in the race. But here, we know that one lap performance is very important.”
Asked if Red Bull was considering sacrificing long-run pace to improve qualifying, Verstappen said: “Yes, I mean, you can set it up more for a lap than a race, that’s for sure.”
“But at most circuits later in the race it will cost you a bit more. Here, you can get away with it.”
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