Ferrari losing 0.7s to Mercedes on straights

Mark Scott
Ferrari Mercedes

Ferrari Mercedes

The figures continue to make for very grim reading at Ferrari as they look to right the wrongs of their SF1000 development.

There was an expectation that Ferrari would sit third in the pecking order when assessing the initial title picture but nobody was quite anticipating the Scuderia being cut so adrift of their rivals.

Charles Leclerc was only able to qualify P7 on Sunday’s grid and was almost a second off the pace set by pole-sitter Valtteri Bottas; Sebastian Vettel failed to even make it out of Q2 and started from P11.

Leclerc was able to paper over the cracks somewhat by managing to drag his car in a position to finish P2 after Lewis Hamilton’s five-second penalty for causing a collision with Alex Albon.

But that does not tell the full story of just how much Ferrari are lacking in performance.

“It’s important for us to improve in different areas. We’re losing 0.3s in the corners,” Binotto said via

“That still leaves 0.7s on the straight. It’s partly from drag, partly from the engine.

“Engine development is frozen. We can work a lot on the drag, unlike the engine, but we didn’t plan on tackling this quickly.

“But I don’t make a comparison with last year, I focus only on relative competitiveness.”

But one small glimmer of hope is that Ferrari appeared to have no sign of reliability issues, unlike many other teams at the Red Bull Ring.

“To finish first, you must first finish. We have worked a lot on reliability since last year, that was a weakness,” he added.

“In Spielberg it was very hot, many engines overheated and next weekend it could be even hotter. That could be a key factor in the beginning of the season.”

Sebastian Vettel finished a lowly P10 after a costly spin when trying to dive down the inside of Carlos Sainz sent him toward the back of the pack.

Vettel said that his car was so bad to drive that he was considering himself fortunate that he only managed to spin once.

Binotto is hopeful that fixes can be made quickly to give Vettel a better driving experience for round two in Austria.

He said: “We can work on that with the car we have. Sebastian wasn’t happy with the car for the second half of the weekend, we can work on that.”

Check out the latest episode of our Torquing Point podcast as the team reflect on a crazy opening race in Austria:

Follow us on Twitter @Planet_F1 and like our Facebook page.