Max Verstappen pulled off a surprise pole position at Paul Ricard on a observe the place Mercedes has been dominant up to now.
The Dutchman’s kind was helped by Pink Bull electing to run its low downforce rear wing configuration, which helped increase its pace on the straights.
However whereas Mercedes acknowledged that Verstappen was gaining a bonus because of his further high pace, it doesn’t assume it might have been quicker even with much less downforce and drag.
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff informed Sky Sports activities F1 about Pink Bull’s low downforce selection: “We imagine, that so far as simulation [tells us], it was the slower model.
“You’ll be able to see they have been quick within the straight line. If we’re bolting on the low downforce wing, we will likely be dropping within the corners rather more.”
Pink Bull staff principal Christian Horner reckoned the rear wing disparity between his staff and Mercedes defined the variations in tempo over the lap.
“We’ve taken a little bit of downforce out of the automotive, you possibly can in all probability see by the dimensions of the rear wing between us and the Mercedes,” he informed Sky Sports activities F1.
“We’re utilizing much less power in Sector 2, so we’re going quicker down the straight as a result of we’ve bought much less resistance there.
“We’re nonetheless managing to do an excellent time in Sector 3, in order that’s serving to us to generate a aggressive lap time round right here. Hopefully we’ll be good for the race tomorrow.”
Max Verstappen, Pink Bull Racing RB16B
Picture by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images
Wolff mentioned that the last word drawback for Mercedes was that it has been missing tempo in comparison with Pink Bull – no matter downforce ranges.
“[It’s a] tough weekend as a result of we’re simply missing tempo,” he mentioned. “That is the reality. It regarded a lot worse than on the finish [where] we ended up, however we simply want to achieve all over the place. There’s not one half that we’re not taking a look at, in an effort to enhance our sport.”
In addition to a smaller rear wing serving to Pink Bull down the straights, the staff can be working contemporary Honda engines for this weekend’s French GP.