Better than expected in the Bahrain GP, Ferrari will reportedly continue to develop the SF21 “until June” as they fight for P3 in the championship.
Slumping to sixth in the 2020 championship, Ferrari initially feared this season could be a repeat of last year’s campaign.
Already though, there is cause for optimism with both Scuderia drivers, Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz, in the points at the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix.
That, however, comes with complications of its own.
With Formula 1 introducing a new era of ground-effect aerodynamic cars in 2022, teams have to decide whether to concentrate solely on the new car or split their efforts between 2021’s car and the new design – and they have to do that while operating under a budget cap.
But with Ferrari showing signs of progress at the Sakhir circuit, Auto Motor und Sport report the team will, at least for now, continue to bring upgrades for the SF21.
Up on pace in Bahrain, AMuS report that “after their initial analysis, Ferrari sees itself in a position to fight for third place behind the top teams Mercedes and Red Bull with McLaren and AlphaTauri. Alpine and Aston Martin currently pose no threat from behind in the narrow midfield.
“The last word in the development of the SF21 has not yet been decided, but Ferrari plan to develop the current car for another two months and only switch to 2022 completely in June.
“The battle for third place could also be decided by who has the last word in the development race of the 2021 car.”
Ferrari sit fourth in the Constructors’ Championship following Bahrain with 12 points, six behind McLaren and 10 ahead of AlphaTauri.
The Italian stable was the biggest winner in terms of pace in Bahrain as, while the 2021 rules have been designed to slow the cars, Ferrari lost the least amount of pace.
AMuS say “the new rules meant all cars were slower than in November 2020. But none of them lost as little time as Ferrari. With a delta of 0.521sec, Ferrari were the only team to lose time under a second”‘
Ferrari’s new signing, Sainz, is happy with what he has seen so far.
“There’s encouragement,” he said. “There’s a big step compared to last year and now it’s a matter of keep refining the details, keep working hard in Maranello and keep improving.
“We’ve done certainly a very good step and now we want to take the next steps. But as [team boss] Mattia [Binotto] said, this year will be more focused on next year. But I’m encouraged.
“Honestly, I’m happy with what I’ve seen, I’m happy with my feeling with the car for a first race and I can see a positive start.”