Ferrari fears ‘set-up mess’ for teams at Silverstone

Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto fears teams will be pressed for time to optimize their car’s set-up at Silverstone given the particularities associated with this week’s sprint qualifying trial.

Teams will be thrown in at the deep end at the outset at Silverstone, with everyone enjoying just a single practice session on Friday before heading into qualifying later in the afternoon and into parc fermé for the remainder of the race weekend.

But the introduction by Pirelli of a new specification rear tyre, which teams tested last time out in Austria, will be another new factor for teams to contend with.

Binotto fears the format could lead to “some mess” as teams struggle with their set-ups, but on the other hand, the Scuderia boss says circumstances have the potential to produce some real excitement for fans.


“We have got a new tyre specification at Silverstone, which we tested in Austria, but most of the teams need to have some more experience on it,” Binotto said.

“There will be very little time for it because it’s only the Friday morning [practice session] before going into qualifying – so you are really going straight into qualifying with the new spec.

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“It’s a new format, there is very little experience because it is parc ferme from Friday afternoon onwards, and that’s really exciting. It could be exciting.

“I think there may be some mess because set-ups will not be optimised thanks to a lack of experiences on the tyres, so I think it can be a great race weekend in that respect.”

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Formula 1 will test its Sprint Qualifying format at two other venues this season before assessing the results and gauging the fans’ reactions to the new concept.

Like most of his team boss colleagues, Binotto is keeping an open mind about the novel format, but the Swiss engineer reckons it could be used in the case of double-header weekends at the same track.

“I think in the future if we’ve got two races at the same circuit, we may consider the sprint qualifying race format again try to change a bit the format of the weekend,” he said.

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