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After Australia's delight, is Ferrari ready to continue in Japan?

After Australia's delight, is Ferrari ready to continue in Japan?

Confirmation time for Ferrari. Two weeks after Carlos Sainz's victory and double in Melbourne, the Scuderia heads to Suzuka with a new status: a challenge against Red Bull and its master Max Verstappen.

Beyond the win in Australia, helped by the Dutchman's drop early in the race, was the way Prancing Horse impressed his rivals. Despite being three-time world champions, the Reds were in a position to win. A remarkable performance… this weekend, at the Japanese GP, it must be repeated to confirm this new status.

“We head to Japan buoyed by the doubles in Australia. The feeling of victory only motivates us to work even harder to try to repeat the experience as soon as possible, Trusts Frédéric Vasseur, principal director of the Scuderia. We are confident that we have a competitive package, but we know that we have to do the right job to beat our competitors. As always in Japan, especially this year, as it is the first time we race in Suzuka in early spring, the weather may play a part, but at the factory we are prepared for this event, leading. »

Is Ferrari finally comfortable with its tires?

If the Italian clan was confident of the SF-24's inherent speed before the start of the season, the tires' performance and race speed were unknown compared to the Red Bulls. At this point, after studying the first three Grands Prix, the Scuderia seems very satisfied with the progress made over the winter. Once again, this improvement will need to be reaffirmed at the demanding Suzuka track, where the tires will be put to the test, especially in Section 1.

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“The team's goal was to improve performance during races, so the problem was approached from several anglesTire performance engineer Callum Frith explains. From a car development perspective, the focus is on giving drivers a stable platform: this means we have a very predictable car that allows drivers not to overextend themselves. Loss of maximum tire grip when tires or continues in various racing conditions such as traffic, wind changes. »

“On the track, we worked closely with the drivers to develop a plan for each race, defining how and where to take care of the tires in order to reach the end of the race as quickly as possible. Strategy and specific requirements for each round.He adds. We can follow this plan in real-time during the race and inform the drivers over the radio if necessary. »

Buoyed by the winning momentum, Ferrari will find it difficult to face a revenge-seeking Max Verstappen in an improved Red Bull, but also against the McLarens who scored a double podium in Japan last year. The Scuderia also has the chance to claim a second consecutive win, something that hasn't happened since mid-2022.

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