2011 could well see the three-stopper become one of this seasons must haves. Yet there is every chance that one of Italy’s marquee brands may not have enough shoes for the party.
There’s always a trend in F1, and one most likely to become a hit is the constant changing of black boots. McLaren and Mercedes may have just set a precedent that isn’t so much legal as it is essential to those with genuine title ambitions in 2011.
When Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo stressed how ’crucial’ the next few weeks are likely to be for his team’s hopes of fighting for the championship, he could have been excused for the type of dramatics that come rather easily for him.
The season has so far seen teams on the cusp of qualifying drop-out, with the likes of Ferrari being forced to reluctantly use up some of their precious soft tyre allocation – which would ideally be kept for Q3 – just to get out of Q1. In doing so Ferrari risk being pinned down to a strategy that could make them an also-ran for the foreseeable future.
As Sebastian Vettel proved in first practice yesterday, Turn 8 is a challenge like no other on the Formula 1 calendar. It provides some of the toughest challenges for tyre wear, though with Istanbul Park largely consisting of some very technical slow to mid-speed corners, the challenges
There’s a well-known adage that you have to pay to play. Despite the resource restriction agreement, Ferrari seem intent on spending their way out their current problems. With the highest reported budget of 199m, that chart topping level of expenditure doesn’t set to decrease any time soon.
Whether a change in the wind tunnel will have similar effect on Ferrari’s fortunes remains to be seen. Fernando Alonso has repeatedly called for patience in order to solve the problems with performance. Today some extra gifts from Pirelli wouldn’t go amiss.