Mattia Binotto thinks that the ‘party mode’ ban that will be implemented at the Italian Grand Prix could make things “interesting”.
The FIA recently announced that, from the Italian Grand Prix onwards, teams would effectively have to use the same engine modes throughout the race weekends and not have a boost during qualifying.
It’s thought that this will hurt Mercedes more than any other team on the grid. The German team has constantly introduced such a mode on Saturdays. That being said, shortly after the announcement, Toto Wolff stated that all the rule will do is make his team quicker on race days.
“If F1 were to ban in-season certain power unit modes, I think it will actually help us in the race,” he told Autosport.
“If you can avoid damaging your power unit in those few qualifying laps that you have available, in Q3 and then the odd lap in the race, the damage metrics goes down dramatically.
“So five laps of quali mode not being done gives us 25 laps of more performance in the race, and that is something we believe will give us more performance.
“You must take into effect that even if it may hurt us more in qualifying, which I’m not sure, and it’s a couple of tenths, then it will hurt all the others in the same way.”
“There will be a new technical directive in place for the qualifying regarding what we call the party modes, so eventually this may affect some of the teams,” the Ferrari team principal told Autosport.
“I will be curious to see how much and which teams. I think it will be interesting in that aspect. It is a circuit that is high power sensitive and eventually the balance of competitiveness in the car itself can change.
“It is also important to start ahead in a higher position on the grid because when you are in traffic, overall it is difficult to make the car work. So for Monza, I think that technical directive could affect it the most.”
For his own team’s sake, Binotto will be hoping he’s right. Without such a ban, both cars only just made Q2 last time out in Belgium.