Ferrari will use updates being introduced at this weekend’s French Grand Prix to help determine the future development direction of its car as it works to close the gap to Mercedes.
Mercedes make clear strides forward in the first seven races since pre-season testing, while Ferrari has struggled with the concept of its car that is strong in terms of straight-line speed, but less competitive in the corners. Team principal Mattia Binotto admits there are no quick fixes to the SF90’s weaknesses, but highlights work that will be undertaken at Paul Ricard as crucial to its future plans.
“Following Canada we definitely want to get back on track and go racing with our rivals once again,” Binotto said. “In France we will have a few small evolutions, elements that represent for us a useful step in defining the direction we will take in developing the car.
“What we will be bringing won’t be the solution to our problems, but the technical feedback we get from these evolutions will be important for the next steps we take.
“Paul Ricard has been a tricky circuit for us last year, and we know that this kind of track isn’t particularly favorable for our package, but nothing is impossible so we will be ready to do our best.”
Binotto says the team’s strong showing in Canada – where Sebastian Vettel qualified on pole position and finished first before being demoted by a time penalty – was solely down to track characteristics rather than any car development work.
“It is very difficult to judge and forecast the performance but it is a circuit which is power-sensitive and rear-limited, so not the same as Barcelona which is front-limited,” he said. “It is more similar to Bahrain rather than Barcelona. We knew we could be closer to Mercedes. How close, I don’t think we had any clue before (Canada).
“I think Friday performance related to them was difficult until the track improved through the weekend with more grip, and we coped with that. The car is exactly the same as we had in Spain, so let’s say our weaknesses we have still on the car. It is as simple as that.
“We need to work, try to improve as there will be other races that are not like Canada so we need to keep fighting and challenging them.”