Ferrari leads on points, Red Bull on wins. The two best cars in the field reach their destination in different ways. Red Bull RB18 is the fastest road car, Ferrari F1-75 when cornering. Who has the best cards?
In a World Cup duel it’s a draw. Ferrari leads in points with a score of 157:151. Red Bull is after wins with 3:2. Ferrari has more pole positions, faster laps, more laps in the lead, Red Bull has more retirees, but wins in the count. The arrangement of the drivers is similarly balanced. Charles Leclerc leads against Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez against Carlos Sainz. After the podium finishes, Ferrari leads 7:5.
Not only do the two cars look different visually. They are also quite different in personality traits. Like last year in the exchange of blows between Red Bull and Mercedes. Red Bull stood high in the back, Mercedes was low. The Red Bull was a compact car, and the Mercedes was one of the longest running cars in the field. Red Bull knew the corners, Mercedes was straight.
Top speed forces Ferrari to make concessions
and now? The 2022 title race is also a battle with asymmetric weapons that neutralize each other in the sum of their characteristics. Red Bull transformed his former weakness into his great strength. The RB18 is by far the fastest car on the straights. But Ferrari is better on the curves. Fast and slow. Efficiency meets consistent downforce in all situations. “Ferrari’s great strength is its good driving ability,” admits Adrian Newey, Red Bull technical director.
However, this scheme can be relaxed depending on the circuit. In Miami, Ferrari was only one step ahead of Red Bull in the fast corners, sometimes losing time in the slow lane between corners 11 and 16. It was because of Ferrari’s tires getting too hot. With his incredible top speed, Red Bull forced Ferrari into a situation in which Ferrari had to sacrifice some of his strengths.
In the first five races, Red Bull had three times better cards in terms of track layout. In Jeddah, Imola and Miami, the opponent’s top speed was a bargaining chip that Ferrari had to watch. Ferrari relied on lap times and tires quickly entering their working window. It almost succeeded in Jeddah but failed in Imola and Miami. The soft-tire compounds fell very quickly off the Ferrari. This gave Red Bull the opportunity to step into the DRS window and take the lead.
Red Bull understands jumping better
The Red Bull RB18 generates more of its downforce through the underside of the car than any other car in the field. This allows the use of smaller wings. Ferrari played the horse in reverse. The vehicle’s geometry aims to maximize the use of wings and rear brake vents. and stable downforce via a large ground clearance window.
Red Bull is able to go their own way because they are the only team that understands jumping. It is present, but minimal, and does not bother itself. This is why Red Bull is driving very low in the fast sections. You can see it in the sparks flying. This also reduces air resistance. Ferrari has a bottom line when it comes to car height. Then the recoil starts to annoy drivers a lot. You can live with a certain amount of swing though. When the driver brakes or turns, it suddenly disappears. Good aerodynamic stability makes this comfort possible.
Jumping is still a trump card for Red Bull. Adrian Newey and his team can continue to develop their car without fear that the shot will backfire and you’ll suddenly have problems like the ones Mercedes is currently facing. Ferrari has that concern. That is why engineers have been more reluctant to participate in the arms race. They wanted to know more about this phenomenon before making major interventions on the car.
Ferrari engine feature
The good nature of Ferrari ensures that the red cars are always prepared relatively quickly for the track in question. It never happened that Ferrari could be so wrong with the setting. It often takes Red Bull an entire day for cars to drive through their window optimally.
Indeed, Ferrari should have better cards on hand when it comes to tire wear and reduced grip. It was the same in Bahrain and Melbourne. But because Red Bull is so fast on the straights, Ferrari can’t always drive the way it wants. You need tires that heat up quickly to take the front row. Defense is easier than attacking a car flying in the strait.
Ferrari will continue to rely on its concept as the powerful engine absorbs part of the top speed disadvantage. Measurements by Red Bull and Mercedes show Ferrari’s engine is currently four kW (5.4 hp) ahead of the Honda V6 and eight kW (10.8 hp) ahead of Mercedes. can increase. First, Ferrari still has a revision of the hybrid system up its sleeve that can pump out more power over longer periods of time. Second, some wiggle room was left in pre-ignition due to reliability concerns. That could definitely lead to another bounce later in the year.
Weight is Red Bull’s primary card
In terms of overall stability, Ferrari is clearly ahead. So far there has been no flaw in the world championship leader. On the other hand, all six Ferrari-engined drivers are already driving the second unit. Ferrari was allowed to improve due to the reliability issue. First drives are reserved for Friday in the future. Verstappen is still driving his first engine, the Perez with the first engine but second and second turbocharged MGU-H. With Leclerc, Sainz and Perez, the use of the fourth engine will likely penalize.
Red Bull has got the biggest joker when it comes to car weight. Neither top-end car reached a minimum weight of 798 kilograms at the start of the season, but Ferrari was closer at seven to eight kilograms, according to Red Bull. This is three tenths. Red Bull has now fully trained in bacon. Another five kilograms were saved for the Spanish Grand Prix. This is close to the maximum.
But Ferrari has a small advantage in the wind tunnel until June 30. Third in the 2021 season, Ferrari is allowed to use 80 percent of the wind tunnel usage limits and CFD tests, and Red Bull only 75 percent. With the World Cup arriving on June 30, it will be decided who will be allowed to use their gadgets 5% more for the rest of the year.
Drivers are restricted. Charles Leclerc leads at eye level with Max Verstappen. He’s been delivering fast qualifying laps at the touch of a button, reducing his error rate and improving his tire management, and has been penetrating in duels like his rival. This is why Verstappen, unlike last year, does not play track-limit games. He knows that Leclerc will respond with the same coin. Carlos Sainz and Sergio Perez are also neutralizing themselves for the time being. In terms of speed and malfunctions.