ferrari He leads both the drivers’ and manufacturers’ standings, but Red Bull looks like the benchmark judging by Verstappen’s dominance in the last two races. The F1-75 and the RB18 seem even, but the evolutions introduced by the Milton Keynes factory have unbalanced the balance and they have opened the fight for the title when at the beginning Leclerc seemed intractable. The Monegasque has a 19-point advantage over the champion, it is still a significant gap, but there is a painful statistic: Max has won all the races he has finished in 2022. By contrast, Sainz has made a podium whenever he has seen the checkered flag .

In that race of evolutions, it is surprising that Ferrari has barely altered the car it unveiled at Maranello almost three months ago while Red Bull has turned the sidepods around and thoroughly revised various areas of the car. In fact, the ‘efficient’ spoiler that they brought to Miami was not used in the end, they were conservative because they feared excessive degradation due to high temperatures. There is also talk of a floor, previously released (and used, according to other teams, in the Imola tire test). But it will not be until the Spanish GP when the Italian team presents the most important novelties of the first third of the year.

Binotto, team boss, is surprised by the ‘purchasing power’ of Red Bull in a spending ceiling regime. “We don’t have money to bring improvements to every race. It’s as simple as that. It’s not about reliability, it’s about spending ceilings. We will bring improvements when the time is right, and the appropriate expense,” says the Swiss engineer, concerned with getting the parts right so as not to waste resources: “We had to wait at least five races to assess the competitiveness of the cars and now we lead both championships. It is true that Red Bull has improved since the beginning of the season, with evolutions. Maybe they have brought a couple of tenths a lap, they are faster than us. There is a spending ceiling and at some point Red Bull will stop introducing parts. In the next races we will introduce improvements, it is not a surprise that we may have a package in Barcelona that will be important. I hope it works as expected, and in that case it can be an extra to get closer to our rivals.”

Differences with Red Bull

“We lack speed on the straights, but we won in the corners, although this time it was not the case in the slow corners. Red Bull has been very good in that sense on the medium tires until they were as quick as us or faster in the slow corners. We have to understand the reasons and if it is because their improvements that they have brought in recent races have made a faster car”, says Binotto, although “the difference is not huge, it is a couple of tenths, and that without forgetting that on Saturday Ferrari had the front row”. The only question is where is that disadvantage and if the differential factor is the aerodynamics, the engine… or Max Verstappen.

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