Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto says that they aren’t yet quite sure what the problem is with their 2019 car, and they are aiming to address the issue quickly.
Barcelona was another drubbing for Ferrari, with their quickest driver in qualifying being Sebastian Vettel and a full 0.8 seconds from pole position. In the race, Ferrari steadily fell backwards as their drivers fought amongst themselves on differing tyre strategies. However, even without the delay of their in-fighting, Mercedes steadily and consistently pulled away and, despite a Safety Car intervention, Vettel finished almost ten seconds from the front.
Ferrari’s design concept, particularly around the front wing, drew a lot of attention pre-season, with questions marks over whether it may offer them a huge advantage, or force them down a developmental dead end. With five 1-2 finishes now to Mercedes’ name in five races, as well as Red Bull seemingly matching or beating the Ferrari, Binotto says that they may have gotten the concept wrong:
“We’re losing a lot in each single corner. Quite a lot of understeer. It’s something which we really need to analyse. Any early conclusion today would be the wrong conclusion. It will take some days to have a proper conclusion. [It could be] a matter of balance, a matter of downforce – maybe even car concept. I think we do not have answer.”
“I don’t think it is a disaster. If it is a concept design, it depends what it is – and I think there are things that you may address in a season. How long it will take is difficult to answer. I think more important for us is to understand how to address them, and then I’m pretty sure we can do it quickly.”
Ferrari had high hopes for the Spanish weekend, having rolled out further aerodynamic updates to follow their Baku upgrades, as well as the introduction of a new specification power unit to improve power and cooling. Despite all this, they were still nowhere compared to the Mercedes W10:
“I think certainly we’re disappointed for the race, we’re disappointed for our performance in the weekend. Our hope was to deliver more. We brought here some upgrades – aero, engine – and we were expecting somehow to be in the fight, but it has not been the case. The upgrades worked well. Power-wise, straight-line speed, we are good enough, but certainly we have some weaknesses on the car that were highlighted through the weekend. It’s up to us to try and understand, to work, to asses, to improve in the future. It can only make us stronger in the future.”
“The season is still long, we will never give up. I think that’s our approach, so there’s much to learn from here.”