Ferrari have had a strong start to the season, finishing the Bahrain Grand Prix with both cars in the points. According to Charles Leclerc, the car has made progress since last year and is easier to handle. However, Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto feels there is more work to be done for the team to fight at the front of the grid again.
Speaking to RacingNews365.com about where his team stands compared to the rest of the grid, Binotto said:
"I don’t think we have all the details yet, but here we saw we are apparently lacking in all the areas. I think we are still lacking on the engine, less than before certainly. So I think the gap has closed and we are converging and hopefully, by next year when we have a new power unit, we will catch the benchmark of the others.”
Binotto believes that not only are they lacking in the engine department, but their entire package is a limiting factor. According to the Italian, Ferrari needs to make amends and improve in all areas.
“I think on the aero as well, medium and high-speed downforce…it’s the whole package again."
However, he admitted the team is getting closer to their desired target:
“But the differences now are closer and closer. More important is that we are working in the right directions with the right tools. And that will make us stronger in the future.”
Ferrari needs to be in better positions: Mattia Binotto
Ferrari struggled last season primarily due to their engine. The Scuderia have undoubtedly made a step forward this season, however, Mattia Binotto was reluctant to talk about their improvements in the department.
“How much is coming from the power unit in improvement is difficult to say, because compared to the competitors, it’s not an absolute value, and we don’t know the progress of our rivals. You need always to talk about the entire package and not discrete things.”
Ferrari were accused of having illegal elements on their engine during the 2019 season. As a result, the team was forced to redesign their power unit for 2020 which left them as the worst engine on the grid. However, could Binotto's reluctance to talk about the engine be another red flag for the Formula 1 paddock? No signs point towards illegal elements in the engine this season, but the team has been known to take privileges in their interpretation of the FIA's regulations before. Could we see a protest from other teams if Ferrari gets too competitive during the season?