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Ferrari 'fast track' upgrades to take fight to Red Bull

Momentum is building inside Ferrari as the upgrades are coming faster than planned.

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Ferrari engineer Jock Clear has revealed the Scuderia's latest upgrade package has been delivered ahead of schedule due to the "super close" fight at the front of F1 field.

The team unveiled a major raft of updates ahead of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix in Imola. Just three races later it has done so again going into the Spanish GP at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya.

As the Imola package validated the work done at the factory in Maranello, Ferrari opted to push on with the latest updates which, for this weekend, include a new floor to aid airflow, a restyled engine cover and a circuit-specific rear wing to tackle the mid-to-high downforce circuits. There is also a new diffuser and halo.

Speaking to media, including RacingNews365, asked whether the new package was fast-tracked, engineer Jock Clear said: "It is somewhat fast-tracked.

"Barcelona is a fantastic circuit to evaluate a car, so if you can, you're always going to want to come to Barcelona with a package.

"That's why we've done pre-season here, and as a result of doing pre-season, we've got so much experience here that it levels all of the other variables for us, and you get a good read on a package. So it's always a good place to come.

"Honestly, because the Imola package was a good step, maybe this was scheduled for later, but this triple-header offers you three good opportunities - Austria and Silverstone are also very good.

"But yeah, we did push it forward a bit just because it's super close at the moment, and if you can come one race earlier, the gains are double effectively because it's always a race.

"So it's not just what our upgrades are doing, it's what other people are doing, and if we can get an upgrade one step earlier than the others, then you carry that forward a bit."

Clear has confirmed that the confidence gained from the Imola package allowed Ferrari to make a call on bringing in the new updates earlier than planned.

"This [upgrade] was in parallel with Imola," he said. "So this isn't a reaction to Imola, if you see what I mean. This isn't the upgrade from Imola, and then we look at what it did. This was always a scheduled upgrade that's in parallel.

"So the fact that we're it bringing here, as long as it performs as we expect - and in the recent past, we've had very good correlation, so we have no reason to believe it won't - that's good confirmation we understand what's going on on this car.

"We didn't have to wait for the Imola package and say 'Okay, what does that do? Now we go this route'. We knew what the package would do, and it did what it should do.

"In parallel, we were also looking at the next step beyond that, and that's what you see here."

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