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Ferrari’s Development Dilemma: Sainz Reveals Costly “Lost Months” in F1 Progress Amid Bouncing Struggles

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Carlos Sainz has acknowledged that Ferrari has fallen behind their competitors by "months" in terms of F1 development progress.

Carlos Sainz has stated that Ferrari has fallen behind their Formula 1 competitors by "two or three months" in terms of development due to the removal of a problematic upgrade.

At the Spanish Grand Prix last month, Ferrari introduced a significant upgrade to their SF-24, only to encounter unexpected issues with the car bouncing at high speeds in sharp turns.

Following a trial run on Friday at Silverstone, Ferrari switched back to their previously used floor and bodywork configuration from Imala for the remainder of the British Grand Prix weekend.

At the Silverstone circuit, Sainz secured the seventh position in the qualifying round, whereas Charles Leclerc did not make it to the top ten, starting the race from the 11th spot. In the race held on Sunday, they ended up in fifth and 14

"Sainz expressed dissatisfaction, stating, 'It's definitely not up to par.' He indicated that their vehicle hasn't changed since the Imola race, while competitors have likely enhanced their cars' performance by two-tenths, forcing them to go back to the drawing board.

"Recent decisions have led to a setback, erasing the progress or enhancements we could have achieved in the wind tunnel over the past two to three months. It's evident that our recent choices have not been on the mark."

"Today felt like a return to the fundamentals, to the performance level we had in Imola. From here, we just have to enhance it. However, it's evident that our competitors have a significant advantage over us."

Sainz indicated that Ferrari might need to accept and work with the updated package for the next race at the Hungarian Grand Prix, considering the Hungaroring is primarily made up of tight, slow corners.

"Sainz clarified, stating, 'It implies we're expected to face challenges at [turns] four and eleven. However, until those points, we don't foresee any improvements.'"

"It may be necessary to tolerate the jiggling during low-speed operations, whereas on high-speed circuits, we might have to revert to the previous setup's floor if the alternative proves to be unmanageable."

"He further stated, 'This is the current state of affairs. I have confidence that the team will make the appropriate decisions from one circuit to the next, until we receive a more reliable setup that performs well at both high speeds without bouncing and excels at low speeds. Once we have that, we'll then consider competing with the top three teams once more.'"

In response to inquiries about whether Ferrari might revert to the Barcelona setup for the Budapest race, team leader Fred Vasseur remarked, "We need to conduct a thorough review this weekend and take into account that Silverstone posed the greatest challenge in terms of bouncing, especially due to its high-speed corners and similar factors."

"We'll have the opportunity to talk and make decisions regarding Budapest."

Addressing the persistent bouncing problems plaguing Ferrari, Vasseur remarked, "I believe the bouncing issue remains an enigma for everyone, as it sporadically emerges without warning. Establishing a correlation is challenging since the wind tunnel doesn't replicate the bouncing phenomenon."

"Each of us has benchmarks, and without delving too deeply into specifics, we all have them. It's expected that there will be more variability with this component compared to another, yet determining whether this variability will detrimentally affect performance is a different matter altogether."

"There are numerous options available for addressing the issue. Some options involve sacrificing performance, while others maintain performance levels by introducing new packages. It appears we have reached that point now."

"In the upcoming race, we might still be using the existing car, but we aim to introduce an improvement that reduces bouncing as quickly as possible."

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