Ferrari will change Sebastian Vettel’s chassis for this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix after spotting a “small fault” on the German’s car following Sunday’s race at Silverstone.
Vettel has suffered his worst start to a Formula 1 season since his first-full campaign for Toro Rosso back in 2008, and his on-track struggles continued during both weekend’s at Silverstone.
Across the consecutive races Vettel was unable to finish higher than 10th, while team-mate Charles Leclerc secured a podium at the British Grand Prix before following that up with a fourth place finish last weekend.
The four-time world champion admitted he has “run out of answers” for his lack of pace having tried everything to set up the car up more to his liking.
Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto revealed after the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix it was considering a chassis change to try and solve Vettel’s issues, which the Italian outfit has now confirmed it will go ahead with for Barcelona.
“Sebastian will have a new chassis, because after the Silverstone post-race analysis, we spotted a small fault caused by a heavy impact over a kerb,” Ferrari’s head of chassis engineering Simone Resta said.
“It would not have had much of an effect on performance, but it was the logical decision to take.”
Despite sitting third in the constructors’ standings Ferrari’s package is lagging behind its rivals compared to recent years, hinged on its loss of straightline speed from 2019.
Give its lack of promise shown in pre-season testing around the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Resta is expecting Ferrari to endure a tough weekend, but believes the warm conditions will play a pivotal role on strategy similar to Silverstone.
“We arrive in Barcelona knowing this will not be an easy weekend for us, given how testing went here in February,” Resta said.
“However, over the five races run so far, we have worked hard to try and improve our car’s performance and extract all its potential.
“We will obviously encounter much hotter weather with track temperatures expected to be well above 40°C.
“It will be an important factor, especially when it comes to the behaviour of the tyres, as we saw at the last two races in Silverstone.”