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Ferrari

Ferrari's Red Bull targets revealed

RacingNews365 technical expert Paolo Filisetti provides an insight into Ferrari's push for improvements off-track.

Leclerc Saudi Race
Article
To news overview © XPBimages

Red Bull's turmoil seems to be an ongoing story but, for now, the Helmut Marko 'bomb' has been diffused. The 80-year-old motorsport advisor, following a meeting with Red Bull GmbH managing director Oliver Mintzlaff and speculation over a potential departure, confirmed at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix he would not be suspended.

It seems almost paradoxical to note the second one-two of the season in Jeddah constitutes the only element of normality for the reigning world champion team, as information collected in the paddock spoke of an air inside Red Bull's Milton Keynes base that was much more unbreathable than perceptible on track.

With the instability within the team rising - and not immediately ending with Marko's reassurances - rivals have begun to move with great timing, intensifying contacts with various members within the team and it seems Ferrari was well prepared in this sense.

The Italian marque has been hunting for improvements to its team for the past 12 months and it is documented that Red Bull technical director Pierre Waché was high on its list.

Details emerged in Jeddah that identify some of the figures Ferrari is looking into poaching from Red Bull, some of which have already been blocked.

Waché was one of those, alongside head of aerodynamics Enrico Balbo. The Italian was among those to have been contacted at last season's Azerbaijan Grand Prix and is seen as one of the most important pawns on which to base the slow work of technical strengthening.

Away from the limelight, other figures have emerged as potential candidates for a switch. One would be David Morgan, Red Bull's on-track aerodynamic development engineer, who has spent over six years with the team having previously worked for Williams.

He is responsible for the configuration choices, as well as the execution and interpretation of aerodynamic correlation between track and simulator.

Head of performance Ben Waterhouse effectively oversees the entire dynamics of the car and we could say he knows the operation perfectly, as well as the internal suspension configurations, which allow the RB20 a perfect match between dynamic and aerodynamic balance.

Another Italian engineer under the microscope is Alessandro Germani, the current team leader of aerodynamic development at Red Bull.

Germani has been with Red Bull for nine years, rising through the ranks to his current position, and is an expert in CFD simulations.

But the jewel in the crown is Adrian Newey and it seems obvious to consider not only Fred Vasseur's behind-the-scenes work, but also the strong value that the involvement of chairman John Elkann could have.

Elkann was seen meeting with Mintzlaff in the Red Bull hospitality area in Jeddah and whilst this was likely to discuss a wide range of topics, this does not mean that he will not be trying to take advantage of Red Bull's precarious internal state.

Being present at the circuit is a strong signal from Elkann that Ferrari is now as tight-knit as ever, but also he has a direct involvement in the team's growth. The same power wars that are gripping Red Bull are not present at the Scuderia.

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