How Monza strength boosted Ferrari confidence in its development plan

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The strong performance from Ferrari at the Italian Grand Prix provides a boost of confidence for the entire team that it understands how to develop its car for the future, according to the team’s senior performance engineer, Jock Clear.

Carlos Sainz took pole position with Charles Leclerc third in qualifying, and the pair finished third and fourth respectively in the race after making the Red Bulls work hard to overtake them. Clear says the fact Ferrari targeted Monza as a circuit it could be strong at, and then upgraded its car in a way that proved productive at that venue, bodes well for its plans moving forward.

“I think the most important thing about a weekend like (Monza) is to understand why you are better off,” Clear said. “Coming into this race we were confident that we understood enough about the car to know that we would be competitive here, and that’s the most encouraging thing for next year, for any year, when you understand what you are doing.

“When you get anomalies, and we’ve had a couple earlier on in the season where we didn’t understand — not specifically overall circuits, but there are some places where in some corners we just couldn’t work out why we were so slow in some corners — so you really have to scratch your head and say there’s something we are missing here.

“To come to Monza and have the car perform exactly how we expected it to, is a real fillip for all the design team and the aero department, because that is an affirmation that we know what we are doing — we understand what the car is doing and therefore what we are projecting for next year, we have every confidence is realistic.”

With a focus on being more competitive in 2024, Clear says Ferrari is unlikely to bring any major updates to its car across the final eight races, although he wouldn’t rule out developments that could be brought forward.

“I think there will be little bits here and there. I don’t think there is going to be anything big,” Clear said. “We will have to see — that decision I don’t think is absolutely made because we are keen to make sure we go into next year with confidence and that means you want to finish the year strongly. If there are things that we think will carry over and be relevant, it would be sensible to get them on the car and get the confidence and some track time on those pieces before February next year.”