Red Bull

F1 2024 season caravan has reached Japan this week with top teams including Ferrari, Mercedes and McLaren aiming to catch the flying Red Bull Racing. The drink based outfit held a 100% win record this year until a DNF cut short Max Verstappen’s race in Australia, thus propelling Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz at P1.

However, for Suzuka, Red Bull has introduced their first upgrade package of the season. The four-dimensional upgrades are likely to increase downforce in RB20, thus paving the way for the increase in the gap for Max Verstappen. However, the FP1 results were contradictory, with Ferrari and Mercedes witnessing significant gains in lap times.


Ferrari Appears Much Closer To Red Bull In FP1 Of Japanese Grand Prix!

Red Bull, Ferrari
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Carlos Sainz of Ferrari ended Red Bull’s winning streak at the Australia Grand Prix. Returning from appendix surgery, the Spaniard saw the checkered flag first after Max Verstappen retired due to brake failure. Regardless, with the introduction of an upgrade package, Red Bull was expected to regain its dominance. However, the free practice one session delivered contradictory results. Verstappen finished P1, but his opponent, Carlos Sainz, was just 0.10 seconds behind in P2. While Ferrari’s 2024 season challenger does not necessarily suit quick corners and sweeping direction changes of the Suzuka circuit, Sainz appeared surprised by the results of FP1. He was quicker than the Bulls in medium speed corners and the best on straights.

While dreaming of beating Max Verstappen to secure a P1 finish in Japan would be a far-fetched dream, Carlos Sainz for sure looks poised to secure a front-row finish in the qualifying session. Notably, Ferrari has stepped up their game with a new upgrade package to tackle Suzuka’s wet condition. The Italian team has introduced a higher downforce rear and beam wing in addition to the bigger aerodynamic sheath on the upper arms of the rear suspension. “Red Bull are a step ahead but a smaller step ahead than maybe I thought, so it should be an interesting fight out there,” said Sainz after the FP1 session. However, the Spaniard’s teammate Charles Leclerc is still looking for unknowns due to the disruption of the FP2 session. Regardless, he is hopeful of getting his answers in FP3, scheduled for Saturday. Overall, Ferrari has positioned itself as a secondary contender for a win in Suzuka this year.

Lewis Hamilton Calls Suzuka FP1 Session Experience ‘Best’ Of The Year!

Lewis Hamilton
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While Mercedes refrained from introducing an upgrade package for the Japanese Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton was relatively happy with the FP1 session experience. “It was the best session we’ve had this year. The best the car has felt this year so far. So I felt really positive and excited,” said Hamilton.

Notably, Mercedes’ current ground effect car appears to be more comfortable to drive in cooler conditions. Hence, the team is optimistic of securing better results this week. Still, Red Bull is far from their reach. The best Mercedes can produce from this point is to beat Ferrari, which also somewhat ranks in the column of achievements for the Silver Arrows this year.

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