Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto believes that their 2020 engine is “not as strong” as last year’s version.
Straight-line performance was where Ferrari excelled last year, especially after the summer break, but their low-drag approach seemed to cost them at lower speeds.
This season though that almost seems to have been reversed – the SF1000 now looks more planted while cornering, but the Ferrari PU didn’t appear to have the power to match during the two weeks of pre-season testing.
As for an explanation, Binotto thinks the SF1000 has too much drag, while engine performance itself is to blame also.
“I think it’s a combination of the two,” he told Motorsport.com.
“I think in terms of overall performance on the power and the engine, we are not as strong as we were last year. We were somehow focused on our reliability and that is somehow compromising eventually the performance.
“But the drag is significantly affecting the speed. I think when you look for better speed you need to look for the drag and the power of the engine itself. We will work on both items for the future no doubt.
“Drag is the one you may eventually address earlier compared to the power unit: for that you need to wait for the second power unit.”
Last year Ferrari faced criticism for their sudden performance gains after the summer break, something which the team said were just politics from their rivals.
But, a series of technical directives issued coincided with that new-found performance diminishing.
The power unit was examined over the winter break by the FIA, and while they wouldn’t reveal any details from their findings, the governing body did say that they and the Scuderia had “agreed to a number of technical commitments that will improve the monitoring of all Formula 1 power units for forthcoming championship seasons.”