Sprint race qualifying is a relatively new concept in Formula 1. While it has divided opinions among stakeholders and fans, the fact that it introduces a new challenge for teams is undeniable.

This became even more obvious this week. Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto said that his team was purposely delaying an upgrade to its F1-75 until the sprint race in Imola is over, even though everything is already ready to be implemented.

Sprint race weekends leave teams with just one-hour sessions on Friday for practice. This is followed with the first qualifier, after which another practice takes place on Saturday and then the sprint.

It doesn’t leave teams with enough time to validate their equipment.

“I think it will be a difficult weekend in respect of bringing updates and trying to evaluate them in the Friday practice, because you need obviously to focus yourself on the quali of the afternoon,” Binotto said.

“If we will look at ourselves, there will not be much in Imola because again, we believe it will not be the right place.

“But we will try to mitigate the issues we have got still so far. I’m thinking of the porpoising and the bouncing that has affected our performance over the weekend.

“So we again try to work on that specific point. But, for the upgrades and more, let me say significant ones, it will be for later on in the season.”

Where does Ferrari go from here?

Charles Leclerc. Credit: autoweek.com

This period is very important for Ferrari since it actually looks like it has a more than decent chance of winning the constructors championship. Therefore, it cannot afford to make any hasty decisions that could jeopardise its chances.

Leclerc is looking dominant and even if Red Bull does hold a straight-line advantage over them, their prospects in Imola should not be hampered as a result since it is a high-downforce circuit.

Therefore, Ferrari can focus on addressing its porpoising issue, which is something that all teams have felt the impact of following the new regulations.

Carlos Sainz’s car felt the full wrath of this porpoising problem in Melbourne which resulted in the end of his Grand Prix race.

Will Ferrari break Mercedes’ recent monopoly in F1? Let us know in the comments.

Read more: F1 teams in disagreement as Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull pile pressure on FIA to implement defining rule change

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