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Sunday, April 21, 2024

Max Verstappen will be worried as Charles Leclerc to benefit from huge Ferrari advantage

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Ferrari are set to hit the track this year with a car “at least one second faster” than their F1-75 challenger from last season, according to a report from Italy.

The Scuderia began the 2022 season at lightning pace, with a one-two finish at the Bahrain curtain-raiser and two wins from the first three races. While their title charge collapsed as the year went on, their woes had little to do with the performance of their car.

A similarly competitive machine this year would go a long way to helping them to mount a less brittle challenge. According to Formul1a.uno, Ferrari might go one step further and field an even better car.

The publication reports that the car the Scuderia will unveil on Valentine’s Day may be “at least” one second faster than their previous effort. That theory has been formed thanks to work on the simulator at their Maranello base – the cars themselves are still being produced and assembled.

The report calls it “an intriguing estimation” from within the Ferrari camp, and attributes the claim to “highly-qualified sources”. It adds: “From our information, the numbers from the Ferrari simulator are extremely positive.”

There have been some delays in the process of manufacturing the new car, however Ferrari are said to be unconcerned about that. All it means from a practical perspective is that they are likely to move their car launch venue from Imola back to their Maranello base, to make it more simple from a logistical point of view.

The F1-75 used in 2022 was fast, and Ferrari’s newest car might be even quicker
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Getty Images)

Of course, Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz are yet to get behind the wheel of their newest toy. But they will get back into the F1 groove later this month at a test organised by Ferrari at Fiorano.

They will have a day each to drive the SF21 – the car used in the 2021 championship. The three-day test will also see them joined by reserve drivers Robert Schwartzman and Antonio Giovinazzi, who will spend half-a-day each driving the car, ahead of their World Endurance Championship duties this year.

The test will not only give the drivers an opportunity to get back into the swing of things, but also their new boss. Frederic Vasseur will get his first chance as Ferrari team principal to see how the team operates when cars are on track.

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