How the Ferrari Monza F1 special demonstrates that there is still place for emotion

Max Verstappen and Red Bull were on an incredible winning streak, but Ferrari gave Formula 1 2023 some life with its unique Monza strategy.

(Motorsports news) There is less and less opportunity for emotion in a sport where statistics rule. Ferrari, though, couldn’t help but go all out when it arrived at Monza. 304,000 pilgrims visited the shrine of speed during the course of the Italian Grand Prix weekend. The pressure of expectation from the deafening tifosi is inescapable regardless of the Scuderia’s form as the search for the first constructors’ title in 15 years continues.

Ferrari has had trouble in 2023 translating its frequently strong qualifying speed into consistent race pace, struggling on the majority of high-downforce tracks so yet. Therefore, it was an easy decision for Ferrari to go all-in for its home race once its relative strength on low-downforce tracks in Baku became obvious.

Teams must exercise discipline because of the financial cap in Formula One and the limitations on aerodynamic testing, which force them to prioritize their CFD and wind tunnel projects. For Monza’s flat-out blasts, the majority of teams—including the dominant Red Bull—tweaked and reduced their previous wing profiles. Ferrari, not at all. Despite understanding that its efforts would be ineffective on other circuits, it created a customized package for Monza.

To increase its power output, the team also installed new power units in Carlos Sainz’s and Charles Leclerc’s vehicles. Sainz defeated Red Bull’s dominant driver Max Verstappen in qualifying by a margin of 0.013 seconds, and Leclerc’s second scarlet chariot was next. “Monza special” had paid off. After capturing the most significant pole of his career, Sainz commented, I’ve had goosebumps since I crossed that finish line, the whole in-lap watching the crowd and obviously getting out of the car and seeing this.”

“I still experience goosebumps. It’s amazing. Everywhere we go—in the hotel, getting to the track, etc. The nicest feeling a driver or athlete can experience is just noise, support, and encouragement. For Ferrari, the first phase of the task was completed, and the squad was still energized on Sunday morning.

Have you noticed how many people are wearing red out in the crowd? When asked, how much sentiment played a role in Ferrari’s decision to stake a sizable portion of its future on a Monza victory, Ferrari performance engineer Jock Clear quips, “Go figure.

Everyone must choose how they wish to spend their money because there is, of course, a cost cap. In the modern era, it is a special race and the only occasion when we would run with zero downforce. “However, we realized early in the season that the reduced downforce was better suited to us.

“From a performance standpoint, creating a custom bundle made sense. Naturally, it comes with the Ferrari winning the Monza pole position. There is nothing better, and that is worth a ton to all of us: the fans, the tifosi, the drivers. Christian Horner, the team manager for Red Bull, didn’t mind that Ferrari had its day in the sun because he was confident that even if Ferrari had the greatest low-drag Monza package, Red Bull would benefit from more downforce in the hot race on Sunday.

Red Bull’s race speed appeared to be three-tenth faster and would also have better tyre management due to its greater downforce levels. You could see what it meant to the tifosi when Ferrari won the pole position, Horner said.

Also read: Magnussen: Patience required of Haas after “horrendous” Monza weekend


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