Disappointed to finish 2-3 in Miami, Mattia Binotto says that shows Ferrari’s progress and that he hopes the budget cap “snaps” at Red Bull.
This year’s championship is shaping up to be a two-driver race for the World title, Charles Leclerc taking on defending World Champion Max Verstappen.
But while the Monégasque driver remains top of the standings, Verstappen has eked into his lead in the past two races, taking it from 34 points to just 19.
Leclerc lost eight points to the Red Bull driver at Sunday’s Miami Grand Prix as he was unable to turn his pole position into a race win, the driver overtaken by Verstappen on lap 19.
His team-mate Carlos Sainz, who started P2 on the grid, also lost a position as he was passed by Verstappen on the opening lap.
Such has been Ferrari’s progress this season that the team was “disappointed” with their 2-3 result.
“Certainly when you are starting with two cars on the front row you are hoping for a better result, for a win,” Binotto explained to F1 TV.
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“We are disappointed no doubt, but being disappointed with second and third is great. It means the teams and the drivers, and everyone at Ferrari, are no longer happy with a second and third.
“I think that is progress.”
But while Ferrari have been second best to Red Bull in the last two races, Imola and Miami, the Scuderia have opted for a different attack on this season’s development to Red Bull.
While the Milton Keynes squad has already introduced several big upgrades, Ferrari have stuck with pretty much the same car that was raced at the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix.
That means the Scuderia still have scope within the budget cap to develop their car whereas Red Bull have already spent a chunk of their $140m.
Binotto said: “Red Bull had better pace, as it was in Imola, they were a couple of tenths a lap faster.
“They have developed the car since the start of the season, which we didn’t really.
“They have spent money as well so I hope that at some stage with the budget cap they’ll stop developing while we have some upgrades available.
“The budget cap situation, there is a cap, I don’t think they can develop so much, and I’m hoping that will not be the case for the rest of the season.”
Despite Red Bull catching up in both championships, Binotto is happy to say Ferrari are still in the lead and that’s with a car that hasn’t been developed, yet.
“I always said we needed to wait five races to access the relative competitiveness as this is a brand new car so everybody will try to correct whatever was wrong at the beginning of the season, and after five races we are leading the championships still,” the team boss added.
“The package is a good package, we have not developed since the start, we will have some upgrades at Barcelona and we hope those upgrades will put us in the fight with the Red Bull.
“We know they are slightly faster on the start and we have better downforce to go through the corners, but if I look at Miami they were as fast as us in the corners.
“That is down to the upgrades they did in the last races, so congrats to them, but as I said before I hope with the budget cap they snap at some stage.”