(Motorsport-Total.com) – Carlos Sainz put Ferrari ahead in the Scuderia’s home race at Monza, but the big question is of course whether Ferrari can also win the race against Max Verstappen in the Red Bull? When you look at the long-term data for the weekend, you have to actually say: Ferrari is the favorite to win the race! But the devil is in the details.
Can Carlos Sainz celebrate too after the race at Monza?
If you look at the long distances from the second free practice session, the Ferrari was on average 4 hundredths quicker per lap than the Red Bull and a full 0.38 seconds per lap behind the third force, Williams. However, due to the red flag caused by Sergio Pérez’s collision, only a few laps were completed, making it difficult to make clear statements about the balance of power.
However, the top teams completed a slightly longer long stretch in the third free practice session at the same time. Ferrari was once again quickest there, this time with a lead of about 2 tenths a lap over its leading pursuer, Mercedes. Red Bull were well behind by more than 9 tenths a lap, but it is questionable whether this is a realistic picture as Red Bull has had the fastest car in all races of the season so far.
Ferrari killer tire wear?
Additionally, the devil is in the details: Ferrari was fastest by a wide margin in the long-running FT3 race, but it also had the most tire wear, more than double that of Red Bull’s tires. The soft tires used just 0.062 seconds per lap, while on the Ferrari it was a full 0.132 seconds. However, Mercedes had the #1 tire with a time of just 0.032 seconds per lap, despite having fewer laps as well.
The Silver Arrows also have another problem: top speed. Nobody is as slow on the straights as Mercedes. If you look at the best top speeds since qualifying, Kevin Magnussen was the fastest Haas driver at 351 km/h. Mercedes was at a full 11km/h there.
Incidentally, Red Bull finished second-to-last with a 6 km/h difference, which may also prove that the focus is on cornering and tire management in the race. Ferrari found itself at the top at 350 km/h, which is why it will be difficult to overtake Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc.
The one-stop strategy is the quickest option
If you simulate long-term data from the two training sessions up to the race distance, according to OneTiming strategy software from PACETEQ The medium-rigid one-stop strategy is the faster alternative.
This is also consistent with Pirelli’s predictions and history, because due to the high stop-point delta of 24 seconds – the stop-point delta is only larger at Imola and Singapore – the one-stop strategy has been the preferred alternative in the past.
Data shows: Ferrari can really win at Monza! | Italian Grand Prix
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Last year, Max Verstappen also chose the one-stop Soft-Medium strategy on his way to victory, which will be Medium-Hard for 2023 due to the choice of softer tires, which, however, became only two stops due to Daniel Ricciardo. A late retirement and subsequent safety car to get new tires for a potential restart, which didn’t happen. The race ended behind the safety car.
Double pit stops can only become a problem if tire wear is much higher than expected or certain safety car scenarios occur, so changing tires twice will be an advantage.
How realistic is a Ferrari win at home?
So who will win the 2023 Italian Grand Prix? While the weekend data points towards Ferrari, there are still some unknowns and obstacles ahead for the Scuderia, which is why we will only see in the race whether Ferrari or Red Bull has the upper hand.
Overall strategy can become a deciding factor, as overtaking is sometimes not that easy due to DRS trains despite the long straights and both undercutting and overcutting are two strategic variables that can lead to success.
More data and a potential strategy by which the Ferrari duo can keep the faster Max Verstappen behind them can be found in a YouTube video on the channel Formula1.deexplained by data expert Kevin Herman using the OneTiming strategy tool PACETEQWhich teams also use on the track. So you better click here!
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