Ferrari has had its weaknesses exposed by the Spanish Grand Prix weekend and can now work to improve specific areas, according to team principal Mattia Binotto.
A new power unit — introduced two races early — and some aerodynamic upgrades were brought to Barcelona, but Ferrari slipped back compared to Mercedes and failed to finish on the podium as Max Verstappen took third place. With Mercedes securing a fifth consecutive one-two, Binotto was full of praise for the championship leaders but says his own team’s failings were highlighted despite the updated car.
“Before we judge our performance, I must say compliments to Mercedes who have been really strong so far in this season so merit to them as they have done very well and work very hard which is not a surprise,” Binotto said. “On our side we can work very hard and very well as well. The season is still long and we will never give up. That is our approach.
“There is much to learn from here. We are disappointed about the race and the performance during the weekend. Our hope was to deliver more. We brought some upgrades — aero and engine — here and we were expecting to somehow 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 this weekend. It is up to us to assess and to improve in the future. It can only make us stronger in the future — that is the final story of the weekend.”
With Ferrari gaining time on the straights but losing out to Mercedes in the corners — most notably in the low-speed final sector — Binotto says the fix is not as simple as adding more downforce to his team’s car.
“Right now we are losing a lot in each corner, not only in the last sector. Each single corner we are slow with quite a lot of understeer. That is not only downforce; we have seen something in the data which we need to analyze and understand so I think an early conclusion 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 tire concepts.”