Ferrari have revealed that they will use a different rear suspension for the upcoming French Grand Prix at Circuit Paul Ricard. The model has already been used at the Spanish GP in the past, but they did not use it later as the tyres had degraded rapidly.
Abrasive circuits like Spain or France tend to degrade the usual Pirelli tyres quicker than normal and to counter that, the tyre manufacturers had brought in a new one which was 0.4 mm thinner in size.
Ferrari had a torrid race in Spain, wherein Vettel could not catch Verstappen despite the Red Bull driver losing a part of his front wing. Mercedes on the other hand, ran superbly on the new rubber, finishing a comfortable 1-2.
However, Ferrari tested the new rear suspension at the in-season Barcelona test and had poor results, so they switched to the old model for the Monaco Grand Prix.
Vettel admitted at Monaco that Ferrari tried some new things at the test. “It was good we had the opportunity to get into the race situation again to understand a bit better with time and laps”, he said regarding the test.
“There are a couple of ideas we have and things we believe that may have caused a weak race or weak pace during the race. But going forward, time will tell whether we found a good direction.”
Ferrari seem to have found the ‘good direction’ that Vettel was referring to. The rear suspension has been upgraded to fit in with the thinner or ‘skinny’ tyres that Pirelli have brought to Circuit Paul Ricard.
Rumors say that they have improved the aero function of the suspension arms which will result in better downforce. They did improve aero at Spain too but it came at the cost of rapidly degrading tyres. Ferrari will be hoping for a better result at France this time around.