Ferrari’s recent slump in form has come as a surprise to Daniel Ricciardo, who admitted he doesn’t understand why the team are no longer taking the fight to Mercedes.
Speaking ahead of the Japanese Grand Prix, where the Ferrari pair were beaten by both Red Bulls, Ricciardo acknowledged the two SF71Hs haven’t been as competitive recently.
“I don’t know what’s happening there at the moment,” he said. “They’re still obviously quick but they’re not showing their real pace that they’ve shown most of the season.”
Some reports claimed Ferrari’s loss of performance coincided with the addition of a new FIA sensor to their power unit to monitor its performance. But the additional sensor was in fact added much earlier in the season, at the Monaco Grand Prix weekend.
FIA race director Charlie Whiting said there was “no link at all” between Ferrari’s loss of pace and the addition of the second sensor. He stressed he could not elaborate on how the team’s car is being monitored as it would mean divulging sensitive information relating to the car’s design.
“I’m not quite sure why that has happened, this drop in form,” he said. “I think some speculation that it’s due to this ‘magic sensor’ that we made them put on. I’m not going to go any further on that but I will say from an engine performance perspective we don’t agree with what’s been suggested.”
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