Ferrari head to Baku armed with updates

Mark Scott
Police arrest two refugees at Silverstone who boarded a Ferrari truck.

Police arrest two refugees at Silverstone who boarded a Ferrari truck.

Ferrari are preparing for the “first step” in their development of the SF90 as they try to bridge the gap to Mercedes.

The Scuderia are 57 points behind their rivals in the Constructors’ Standings with the Silver Arrows beginning the season with three consecutive 1-2 finishes.

Team orders and reliability issues have so far been the major talking points relating to the Scuderia, but team boss Mattia Binotto will be hoping that Baku will represent the start of the Ferrari fightback.

To aid them in the fight, Binotto said in his Baku preview that upgrades are on the way.

“Coming off the back of three races that definitely didn’t go the way we wanted, this GP is another important moment for us,” said Binotto.

“We have prepared for it very well, analysing all the data we have acquired up until now, looking at areas where we can improve and working on adapting the car’s set-up and the power unit management to the characteristics of the track.

“In fact, Baku features a very long straight, which places special demands on the engine, both the internal combustion part as well as the hybrid elements.

“The track surface is very smooth, which means tyre wear is generally low, but as the tyres therefore generate less energy, it can be difficult to get them in the right working temperature range.

“We know from past experience that there’s a high probability of the Safety Car appearing on track in Baku and therefore it’s an important aspect to consider when looking at the race strategy.

“We are bringing a few updates to Baku, as the first step in the development of the SF90.”

Ferrari driver, Charles Leclerc, is fond of the Baku circuit – especially after claiming a stunning P6 there in 2018.

“Azerbaijan is one of my favourite tracks of the season, I simply love it and I’ve always performed very well there,” Leclerc said.

“I always enjoy driving on it, especially the castle part with all those tight corners. It’s a unique track, you cannot find anything like it anywhere else in the world, so it’s pretty special.

“The rule is quite simple: never lose focus during the race otherwise at the first mistake you’re in the wall. Baku is a demanding track, but I can’t wait.”