Binotto: Ferrari not clear third-fastest team

Date published: August 6 2020

Mattia Binotto arms crossed mask.jpg

Ferrari principal Mattia Binotto says the team are slower than Mercedes and Red Bull, but are also “very close” to the midfield leaders.

Charles Leclerc has scored two podiums for the Scuderia so far this season, though it’s widely accepted that the team are slower than rivals Red Bull and well off the pace of Mercedes at the top.

And with the rules remaining stable for next season, Ferrari aren’t expecting to be successful again until 2022.

So far this year Ferrari have spent most of their time battling with the likes of Racing Point, McLaren and Renault.

And whilst they can certainly hold their own against that trio, Binotto isn’t prepared to say they are ahead of them as F1’s third-fastest team.

“Certainly we are behind Mercedes and Red Bull. I think we are very close to the others,” he told Autosport.

“Here [at Silverstone] we brought a low downforce package which was worth a couple of tenths in optimising our package. But I think it’s pretty close.

“There will be races where we are closer and others where we eventually stay ahead. So it is our task, our duty, to develop the car.”

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But for all the positives of Leclerc’s performance at the British Grand Prix, Ferrari were left feeling negative by the struggles of Sebastian Vettel.

The four-time World Champion missed almost the entirety of FP1 due to “reliability” and “installation”problems.

He would go on to finish the race in P10, struggling to make an impact on the midfield fight, and for Binotto it highlighted how, right now, the Ferrari package is “not great enough”.

“I think certainly with Charles we optimised the package and we extracted most of the potential from the car,” he said.

“And a great race, so pretty happy in that respect.

“I think we generally worked well through the weekend, on the circuit, on the aero package, and on the tyre management.

“We cannot be happy with the problems we have on Friday, which are reliability problems and installation problems, which simply did not help the situation of Sebastian. So the weekend has not been a perfect weekend on our side.

“That’s leaving aside the overall performance of the car, which at the moment is not great enough. So the weekend has not been overall perfect. While there have been great things there have also been negative ones as well.”

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