Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto says any issues regarding the legality of his team’s power unit would have appeared as soon as it was checked by the FIA.
Rival teams were suspicious of Ferrari’s power unit performance through 2019, when the Scuderia enjoyed a significant straight-line speed advantage that propelled it to six consecutive pole positions after the summer break. While a technical directive that was issued late in the season coincided with a poor showing in Austin, Binotto insists his team has never changed how it uses its power unit.
“We have never changed our way of operating the engine for the last part of the season showing that somehow our power unit has full legality,” Binotto is quoted as saying by F1.com. “Otherwise had that not been the case, if there would have been any non-legality, it would have come out at the very first check.”
According to Binotto, observers paid too much attention to the team’s power unit performance and not enough to the aerodynamic gains it has made with the car.
“If you look at the cornering performance, if on average we were six-tenths (of a second) off the pace in the first half of the season, we were able to reduce it to two-tenths in the second half,” he said.
Ferrari did not win a race this year until after the summer break – when Charles Leclerc won in Belgium – and Binotto said there were other aspects outside of car performance that also let the team down.
“Pit stops were also not good enough,” he admitted. “On many occasions ours were over six seconds, which is not acceptable for a Ferrari team. And when you have to be perfect to win, you need to be perfect as well from a team point of view and mechanics and pit stops.
“It’s not a matter of skills. It’s not a matter of individuals. After all, the way we are approaching the problems is through practice. It’s through a lot of training. A lot of analysis, a lot of tools. It’s a lot of methodologies showing that we need to improve ourselves 360 degrees. And that’s the challenge we are facing for the next year.”