Binotto: Our upgrades were insufficient


Despite Mercedes continued insistence that pre-season testing left them fearing the worst and that Ferrari had the upper hand - even though Lewis Hamilton virtually matched Sebastian Vettel's best time on the final day - after five races the German team has scored five 1-2, while its Italian rivals have manged just three visits to the podium, each time to the lowest step.

Team strategy aside, the aero updates introduced in Baku and the new-spec engine brought to Barcelona have made little difference. Indeed, the Maranello outfit appears to have lost ground.

Though quick on the straights, as seen in the team's struggles in S3 all weekend, it is mainly in the corners that the SF90 is losing out.

"This was yet another race that ended well below our expectations," admitted team boss Mattia Binotto. "It was a shame about the start, because Sebastian got off the line really well but then he locked up the wheels and lost some places.

"The updates we brought here, both on the aero front and on the engine, worked well and we are more than pleased with them," he continued, "but they proved to be insufficient.

"Now we have to analyse and think about what did not work, and when it comes to that, as of today I don't think we have a precise answer," he admitted.

"I think power wise and straight-line speed we are good enough, but certainly we have some weaknesses on the car that were highlighted this weekend. It is up to us to try to understand, to work, to assess and to improve in the future.

"We know we have a lot to do and that we must improve. That was made clear this weekend, but we are not losing heart. The mood in the team is still good and there's a strong desire to do better, so now we have to respond with our actions. The season is still long and we will never give up. That is our approach."

When asked if he could explain why the SF90 is losing out in the corners, he admitted: "Right now we are losing a lot in each corner, not only in the last sector. In each single corner we are slow with quite a lot of understeer.

"That is not only downforce," he added, "we have seen something in the data which we need to analyse and understand so I think an early conclusion today would be a wrong conclusion.

"We need a fix on this, but we need a proper analysis and try to understand the matter of balance, the matter of downforce and maybe even tyre concepts. I think we do not have the answer and I would not like to go through it yet."

Asked, if in a worse-case scenario, the actual concept of the SF90 is wrong, and if so would it be a disaster for Ferrari, the Italian said: "I don't think it is a disaster by the time that you are improving as a team. As I often say, we are a young team, we are on a learning phase.

"I think that in terms of process and methodology there is still much to learn and I am pretty happy by the time the team is improving. If it is a concept design then it obviously depends what it is, but I think there are things that you may address within a season."

Check out our Sunday gallery from Barcelona, here.

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Published: 13/05/2019
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