Ferrari concerned about Verstappen’s Imola test

"It is clear that this was about development"


26 June 2024 - 09:01
Ferrari concerned about Verstappen'

Ferrari boss Frederic Vasseur has admitted he has some concerns about the way Red Bull now intends to use what have become known as ’TPC days’.

TPC stands for ’Testing of Previous Car’, which is an arrangement in Formula 1 where teams are allowed some in-season testing but only in two-year-old cars.

Last year, TPC days were largely meaningless in terms of F1 development because the newest allowable cars were of the older, non-ground-effect 2021 cars.

But that has changed this year, with 2022 cars - the first of the current generation - now eligible to hit the test tracks. Ferrari, Mercedes, Alpine and now Red Bull have therefore been taking full advantage of the opportunity.

However, it was Max Verstappen’s test in the 2022 Red Bull at Imola, in the days immediately prior to the Spanish GP, that raised Vasseur’s eyebrows in particular.

The Frenchman says "no distinction" exists in the current TPC rules about exactly how the teams can use those permitted test days.

"There are TPCs you can do with your race drivers, and for me they are more about development than anything else, especially if you do a TPC the week before a grand prix," said Vasseur.

When asked about Verstappen’s Imola test, he insisted: "I’m not complaining about what they did, because it’s in accordance with the regulations, and that’s fine.

"But such a test is more about the development of the car than about anything else. It’s not that they want Max to gain experience on a Tuesday like that," Vasseur added.

He hinted that using the tests purely for development may be against the spirit of what the TPC days were originally intended for.

"It is clear that this (Imola test) was about development, because you can also use those tests for young drivers, and that requires a different approach. You want to give them the opportunity to make progress in addition to their simulator work, and for the drivers to develop in this way. So that’s the other side of the story," said Vasseur.

As for the way Red Bull has now started to use the TPC days, he said: "I think this needs to be looked at and we need to split it into two parts - namely the days we do with our (race) drivers and the days we do with other drivers."

Meanwhile, Vasseur says he is not overly concerned about Ferrari’s current performance dip, particularly as a significant car upgrade was debuted in Barcelona.

"This week we will use the car better," he said.

"It is not the first time that we have seen the upgrades work in the following race compared to when they debut.

"It happens to us as it does to other teams, especially considering that the evolutionary packages are no longer as massive as they were a few years ago because the cars are so advanced."

Red Bull



Formula 1 news