Neither Leclerc nor Carlos Sainz Jr have been capable of maintain their tyres alive lengthy sufficient to match the lap instances of their rivals, and their tempo drop off and want for further stops noticed them droop to exterior the highest ten.
However whereas Ferrari was not alone in struggling extra degradation within the French GP than anticipated, the Maranello outfit positively felt issues a lot worse than the opposition.
And that has left the squad chasing solutions as to why its SF21 automobile, which had taken pole place in Monaco and Baku, was left preventing in the back of the midfield pack.
The basis explanation for Ferrari’s tyre degradation challenge seems to revolve across the administration of its entrance tyres.
The staff has discovered that the fronts of the SF21 are inclined to heat up rapidly and function in a really slim temperature window.
Such a attribute may be nice for a qualifying lap – particularly at gradual velocity tracks like Monaco and Baku the place tyre heat up is an enormous issue.
Nevertheless, over an extended race, the place the tyre temperatures steadily rise, it means they will fall out of the opposite facet and that triggers hassle.
It’s a trait we have seen all season, with Ferrari proving to be fast in qualifying however not at all times managing to covert that in to race tempo.
Sainz mentioned after the Paul Ricard race: “It has been an inclination, and I am not going to lie. It is one thing that it has been behind our minds going a bit into each race.
“We all know we are inclined to wrestle a bit extra within the races than in qualifying. However I have to say that there is additionally been a few weekends this yr the place this challenge hasn’t appeared.
Carlos Sainz Jr., Ferrari SF21
Picture by: Jerry Andre / Motorsport Images
“For instance, in Barcelona the race tempo wasn’t a difficulty. It is usually clear that we’ve a really slim window of working vary on our entrance tyres, so we are inclined to wrestle much more with graining or with entrance put on than our opponents.
“So now it’s about making an attempt to know why we’ve this such a slim window, and why can we wrestle extra with this entrance tyre when in comparison with our opponents.
“I am positive the entire staff will return tonight to the manufacturing unit and from tomorrow we shall be working extraordinarily exhausting to try to handle it as a result of it is evident, and it is apparent. You do not should be a genius to see that we’re clearly struggling.”
A number of components have been at play to make the circumstances of the French GP so exhausting for Ferrari.
As a monitor with increased velocity corners, Paul Ricard places extra vitality by means of the tyres than venues like Monaco and Baku, so conserving tyre temperatures beneath management is tougher.
Moreover, the rain that got here on Saturday evening and Sunday morning washed away a lot of the rubber that had been put down by automobiles earlier within the weekend.
It meant a ‘inexperienced’ monitor floor for the race that had appreciable much less grip – which is at all times a set off for increased than regular degradation, plus graining, as automobiles slide extra. Sainz skilled first hand simply how a lot much less grip there was than anticipated when he slid off the monitor on his technique to the grid.
Ferrari’s downside with the entrance tyres additionally appears to be one thing that can not be eradicated by means of easy setup adjustments.
Group principal Mattia Binotto thinks the answer is one thing that may solely be sorted within the medium to long run, with some main automobile element tweaks.
Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF21
Picture by: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images
“Can we handle it with a easy improvement on the present automobile? I believe we could enhance the state of affairs however to unravel it, I believe we have to have some hardware change, like for instance the edges, which isn’t potential [due to the] regulation,” he mentioned.
“I believe it is extra essential for us at that stage to attempt to perceive and handle it for subsequent yr. I believe that this challenge could occur once more at some races, however not all tracks. It’s monitor and climate situations associated, however we have to put together ourselves to face such conditions sooner or later and not less than attempt to mitigate the issue, since it is going to occur once more.”
The reference to the wheel rims is particularly fascinating, because it all however confirms that Ferrari is solely overheating its entrance tyres.
Fashionable wheel rims, which have been homologated for this yr so might solely be modified by burning tokens, are extremely advanced.
Groups use them for each aerodynamic impact and air move to assist higher handle the tyre temperatures.
In Ferrari’s case, it might be that it has gone too far in chasing aerodynamic features over warmth extraction – that means the rim, and due to this fact the tyres, are getting hotter than the staff would really like.
However whereas Ferrari is aware of what went unsuitable in France, it now faces an intense few days to work out why it was so dangerous and what it might probably do to stop a repeat.
Binotto mentioned: “We have to return, analyse the information have a brainstorming, and do some simulations. I believe that shall be a part of the homework that we have to do.”
However it is aware of that guaranteeing no repeat in Austria this weekend shall be an excessive amount of to ask.