Ferrari reveal plans for 'significant' change of F1 2020 car direction
SF1000 will run at the two Austrian races in the same spec as the end of winter testing in February; New development direction since initiated for Hungary onwards
By James Galloway
Last Updated: 30/06/20 9:32pm
Ferrari have revealed their 2020 car will not feature any updates compared to the one run at February testing for F1's return in Austrian GP, with the team instead working on a "significant change of direction" in development.
Confirming their first round of updates will instead appear at the season's third round - in Hungary in two weeks' time - Ferrari chief Mattia Binotto said their disappointing form in winter testing had led to a rethink with the SF1000.
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"This weekend the car will run in the same configuration used towards the end of the Barcelona tests," said Binotto.
"This doesn't mean we have been twiddling our thumbs in the very limited time of just five and a half weeks in which we were able to work on the cars, because of the stringent procedures involved in working around the pandemic as well as the total shutdown of activities required by the FIA in agreement with the teams.
"The truth is that the outcome of the tests led us to take a significant change of direction in terms of development, especially on the aerodynamic front.
"First, we had to understand why we did not see the results we had expected on track and how much to recalibrate the whole programme as a result. It would have been counterproductive to continue in the direction we had planned, knowing that we would not have reached our goals.
"Therefore we decided to come up with a new programme that looked at the whole car, knowing that not all of it would be ready for the first race.
"Our aim is to introduce the updates at the third race on 19 July at the Hungaroring. Apart from that, over and above the actual development of the car itself, these past few weeks we have worked a lot on analysing its behaviour, with simulation work and with the help of our drivers and I think that will prove its worth in Austria."
So how fast will Ferrari be in Austria?
The general consensus after the six days of pre-season action in February was that Ferrari trailed both Mercedes and Red Bull with their new 2020 car.
Both Ferrari's rivals have also confirmed they are bringing updates to the packages run at Barcelona - including a Honda engine upgrade for Red Bull.
"We know that, at the moment, we don't have the fastest package," accepted Binotto, whose team are yet to win in Austria since the country returned to the calendar in 2014.
"We knew it before heading for Melbourne and that hasn't changed. Having said that, the Spielberg circuit has different characteristics to Montmelo and the temperatures will be well above those of February.
"In Austria, we must try and make the most of every opportunity and then in Hungary, with the new development step we are working on, we will be able to see where we are really compared to the others, while having to take into account the developments our competitors themselves will have brought along."
The Formula 1 season begins on Friday on Sky Sports F1 with the Austrian GP. Sunday's race starts at 2.10pm. Find out more & subscribe to Sky F1.