The Austrian Grand Prix qualifying session delivered a final verdict on the regression of Ferrari in terms of performance. A situation that does not fail to fuel speculation on the possible link with how to operate the Italian power unit, because the figures speak for themselves. The Ferrari engine no longer seems as formidable as last year in the light of the timesheet, because if the Scuderia suffers an obvious setback, this is also the case for the two client teams that use its propellant unit, Alfa Romeo and Haas F1.
Last year, on this same circuit of Red bull ring, Charles Leclerc had signed pole position, Kevin Magnussen took fifth place on the grid, while Kimi Räikkönen and Antonio Giovinazzi were both in the fourth row. In the context of the secret agreement between the FIA and Ferrari last February and relating to the operation of the power unit, the cause and effect link could be established, the conditional being required.
The figures for Saturday are in any case the following: Leclerc's time was 0 "920 slower than that of his pole position 2019, the best time for a Haas was 0" 621 from that of last year, and at Alfa Romeo, this differential climbs to 1 "119. A chasm that does not fail to speak when, at the same time, almost all the other teams show progress from one year to the next on the Austrian track.
|Time lapse in qualifying compared to 2019|
|Red Bull||+0 "038|
|Racing point||-0 "929|
|Alfa Romeo||+1 "119|
At top speed, the Ferraris were Saturday 10 km / h behind the Mercedes. Certainly the Alfa Romeos were among the fastest in front of the radar, but obviously at the cost of aerodynamic support considerably sacrificed. If we add the fact that competing teams claim to read from GPS data that the Ferraris are losing a lot of time in a straight line, the specter of last year's controversy inevitably rises.
While he has already repeatedly expressed his frustration with the agreement between the FIA and Ferrari, Toto Wolff leaves a doubt that is not one. At the end of the qualification session, the director of Mercedes was asked about it. Is the data mentioned above a mere coincidence?
"I don't want to comment on that"he replied. "I think we've said enough. I don't want to talk about Ferrari. It's more about how things are run. Let's not go back. I think everything has been said, both ways They haven't shown great performances today. We want them to be competitive and we want to race against them, with the same regulations, and nothing would make me happier than if we had three or four competitive teams, who would give us value for our money. "
The Austrian also hinted at tense relations with Mattia Binotto, his counterpart at Ferrari. When asked to support the director of the Scuderia after such a setback, he responded first with a great silence, then with a hesitation, before launching out: "I would like to cheer everyone up at Ferrari because it is a fantastic company, with great people, but I have no reason to cheer Mattia up. Is that enough to answer?"