Former Ferrari staff member points to long-standing tyre issues as the team’s main problem this year, which has persisted over the past decade.
While the SF-23 exhibits comparable one-lap speed to the RB19, it significantly lags behind in terms of race pace. The Ferrari car struggles to maintain tyre longevity, preventing it from fully capitalizing on its performance.
A notable instance highlighting this issue occurred during the season opener in Bahrain. Despite Ferrari opting for a soft-hard-hard strategy, the two Red Bulls managed to make their soft-soft-hard strategy last longer.
Finding a solution to this problem has proven elusive for the team in Maranello, as even the latest upgrades have failed to address the tyre-related challenges.
Alberto Antonini, former head of communications at Ferrari, expressed concern over the fact that the tyre issue seems to exclusively affect Ferrari and not their customer teams.
In his FormulaPassion column, Antonini stated, “For Ferrari, the season started poorly and risks ending even worse. If the developments don’t yield the expected results, as was the case in Spain… On one hand, it is clear that if the problems are only with the SF-23 and not the other cars, the blame lies with Ferrari and not Pirelli. On the other hand, there seems to be a clear technical communication issue between Maranello and the sole tyre supplier.”
Pirelli has been the official tyre supplier for Formula 1 since the 2011 season. Prior to that, Japanese company Bridgestone not only manufactured the tyres but also paid Ferrari for their usage. The last time Ferrari tasted success was during the Bridgestone era in 2007, with Kimi Räikkönen emerging as the champion.
“During the Bridgestone era, it wasn’t like this,” Antonini continued. “But back then, the Japanese [supplier] paid the team each year for the privilege of supplying the tyres.”