Ferrari To Test Imola-Spec Upgrade Before Next Race

240047 Scuderia Ferrari Japanese Gp Saturday 6ceff861 0def 4464 86cf 043aee715738
240047 Scuderia Ferrari Japanese Gp Saturday 6ceff861 0def 4464 86cf 043aee715738

Ferrari is set to give its Imola-spec car upgrade a trial run during a ‘filming day’ at the Italian team’s own Fiorano circuit.

Red Bull is also planning a car upgrade for Imola next weekend – the second major aerodynamic update for the dominant outfit so far this year.

Lando Norris won in Miami last weekend at the wheel of McLaren’s heavily revised ‘B’ car, giving Formula 1 hope of a closer contest going forward.

“Miami was a good race for Formula 1,” Ferrari boss Frederic Vasseur said. “We had a good all-round battle for victory and the podium places – three or four teams were in the fight.

“That’s good for the show and therefore also for Formula 1.”

Dutch former F1 driver Christijan Albers agrees.

“It was a little bit of a shock,” he told De Telegraaf, referring to Max Verstappen’s failure to win last Sunday, “but it was also nice for us as fans that Max has to start fighting a bit more seriously again.”

Coupled with the end of Adrian Newey’s involvement on technical matters, there is now light at the end of the tunnel for Red Bull’s rivals – following a long period since early 2022 of extreme domination by Verstappen.

Team boss Christian Horner admitted: “He (Newey) was not in the team meetings in Miami – only at the race strategy meeting.

“He no longer has access to any data, and his focus will be solely on the RB17 (hypercar) from now on.

“He will still be at some races, but only really when RB17 customers are there,” Horner added.

Former F1 driver Christian Danner sees it as a turning point.

“This is the beginning of the end of Red Bull’s dominance,” he told motorsport-magazin.com. “I’m not saying they’re about to collapse, but the dominance is over with Newey’s departure.”

Danner said he doubts Red Bull’s claim that the ‘strength in depth’ at the Milton-Keynes based team will compensate for the loss of Newey.

“They said the same thing at McLaren,” he recalls. “They said ‘Newey is a great man who helped us, but we are so strong that we don’t need him’. That turned out to be wrong.

“If it was that simple, all of the deputies under Newey would have still built a winning car. So this is bigger news than Red Bull wants to admit.”

Danner expects Newey to eventually re-emerge at Ferrari.

“A sabbatical sounds nice, but Newey will be bored to death by it,” he predicted.

When asked if he expects Newey to join a rival team, Red Bull CEO Oliver Mintzlaff answered: “We’ll see about that, but of course that’s no longer part of our decision.”

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