Binotto refusing to rule out Ferrari fightback in Monaco

Monaco Grand Prix – Despite Mercedes’ very strong pace during practice, Mattia Binotto is optimistic that Ferrari still have a chance of catching up in time for qualifying.

Ferrari appeared unable to compete with Mercedes’ pace on the opening day of the Monaco Grand Prix running, with Sebastian Vettel falling three-quarters of a second short of Lewis Hamilton’s practice-topping lap time.

Charles Leclerc also had an unrepresentative finishing position in free practice two, setting the tenth-fastest time and complaining to the team about tyre warm-up issues.

Speaking to the media after the practice day, Binotto conceded that they had struggled to get the Pirelli tyres into the correct operating window.

“We had some difficulties in warming up the front tyres, which was the opposite to last year where we had to keep them cool, so warm-up is an issue,” said Binotto.

“On a single qualifying lap that is quite different. Being prepared for a single lap is something that you can achieve. I’m sure looking at the data today that there is plenty of room to optimise ourselves to do as well as we can in qualifying.”

When it was suggested that Ferrari might be looking to other events for race-winning opportunities, Binotto was unwilling to be defeated about Ferrari’s chances in Monaco.

“Certainly today we are lacking some performance compared to our competitors but, for Saturday and Sunday, I think it will be closer and the game is not over yet.

“In FP1 and FP2, Mercedes have shown to be very strong again. It’s very easy for them to find the right [performance] window on the tyres to perform properly in the laps, but there is much to do. There is an entire day tomorrow, let’s wait for the qualifying and the race.”

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Luke Murphy

As an FIA-accredited motor sport journalist, degree-level Motorsport Engineer and amateur karter, Luke's passion for motor sport is evident. He is one of the editors at FormulaSpy and one of the longest-standing members of the team.

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