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Ferrari reveal plan to run limited upgrades at Imola

Ferrari will bring relatively small updates to Imola, Marc Gene has said, despite Carlos Sainz's exciting assessment of the team's development potential.

Ferrari will roll out only limited upgrades at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix and are expecting their rivals to do the same. F1 will return to the famous Imola circuit this weekend for the first European race of the 2022 season. All eyes will be on the cars on Friday morning, with new parts expected up and down the paddock. Despite their strong start to the campaign, which sees them comfortably top both championships, Ferrari have teased updates to the F1-75. Carlos Sainz recently revealed that the team have a car in the wind tunnel that is "better" than the one Charles Leclerc used to score 71 points from a possible 78 during the opening three races. But Marc Gene, a Ferrari Ambassador, says the Scuderia have decided that they will run only a few small upgrades at Imola, despite the track being just an hour's drive from their Maranello base.

F1 Sprint has changed team's plans

The Emilia Romagna GP weekend will be the first of three F1 Sprints in 2022, joining Austria and Brazil. The event schedule offers only one hour of practice before Friday afternoon's qualifying session, limiting the time teams will have to perfect their car set-ups. "We've decided not to bring that many [updates] because it is going to be a Sprint race on Saturday, so there is only going to be one hour of Free Practice, so there's not a lot of time to test new parts," Gene explained, speaking to Sky Sports News . "I don't know how the team are going to approach that. On our respect, we prefer to just concentrate on the set-up on Friday for Free Practice and then it is going to be qualifying just after that."

Ferrari expect their F1 rivals to follow suit

Ferrari do not expect to be alone in running only limited upgrades for the Imola weekend, given the demanding schedule. Alpine, Haas, AlphaTauri and McLaren are amongst the teams which say they will bring modifications, despite the reduced practice time. "I don't expect, as I say, to see people bringing a lot of updates," Gene continued. "We prefer to concentrate on the set-up to bring this car as low as possible. The lower you can run the car without the porpoising being an issue, of course, the more performance you have."

Rain could cause havoc in Imola

Triumph for Leclerc in Italy could see him hold the most commanding points lead after four rounds of a new season since the points-scoring system was changed in 2010. With a perfect weekend (victory in the Sprint, the Grand Prix win and the bonus point for the fastest lap) the Monegasque could count 105 points after Round 4 and a 43-point lead (at least) over his nearest rival. "We are very strong. It's been a very good start to the season. We couldn't have started better," added Gene. "It's going to be a completely different circuit. First of all, this is the first European track, so it is going to be very interesting to see if we can maintain that form. "It may rain, so that is a variable to what we have seen so far, and we cannot take Max Verstappen out of the equation, because he has been a bit unlucky so far this season."

RESULTS 2024 F1 Monaco Grand Prix - Free Practice 1