Ferrari and Mercedes are at the end of the road with their car development programs for 2022.
With Max Verstappen already champion and Red Bull cruising to the constructors’ title, Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto says a new floor at Suzuka was the final development because the team is “at this season’s budget limit”.
That is not good news for the Maranello marque, because the new floor did not solve Ferrari’s problem of excessive tyre wear – which became apparent after the FIA’s mid-season clampdown against ‘porpoising’.
“We are very strong warming up the tyres but then after three four laps we just destroy them,” said Charles Leclerc after the Japanese GP.
Binotto, however, says the new floor works.
“The data we collected confirmed the development step,” he insists.
As for Mercedes, the next race in Austin will mark the end of the reigning constructors’ champions 2022 car development program.
“It’s our final step of aero development,” said the team’s engineering boss Andrew Shovlin. “There’s also a few bits where we have taken some weight out of components that will hopefully get the car closer to the weight limit.
“With every step, we’ve learned more and more and that learning we can carry into next year,” he added.