Ferrari is hoping it can continue its power unit development over the next 12 months to become a benchmark on the Formula 1 grid in 2022.
A strong 2019 performance level saw Ferrari come under additional scrutiny for the way it was running its power unit and last year it was hit by technical directives that pegged it back significantly. With development not allowed in-season, Ferrari had to wait until this year to upgrade its power unit and based on its Bahrain performance has done a solid job, but team principal Mattia Binotto wants improvements across the board.
“This is analysis that we need to perform – I don’t think that we have all the details, but I would say that we are lacking in all the areas,” Binotto said. “I think we are still lacking on the engine, less than before certainly, so the gap has closed and I think we are converging.
“Hopefully by next year when we will again have a new power unit we may catch up or have a benchmark for the others. I think on the aero as well – medium and high-speed, downforce – I think it’s an entire package again. But now the differences are closer and closer.
“More important is I think we are working in the right direction with the right tools and that will make us stronger in the future.”
Despite qualifying fourth with Charles Leclerc in Bahrain and both cars finishing in the top eight, Binotto says Ferrari has a lot of work to do to be fighting for podiums again given the performance advantage held by Red Bull and Mercedes.
“It’s still a long way (to the podium), but it will depend as well track-to-track,” he added. “We know that we will not work much on the development of that car because we are all focused on the 2022 in terms of design and development back at Maranello – I’m pretty sure it’s the same with the other cars and the other competitors – but still if we look at our race (in Bahrain), we’ve got feedback now from drivers. They’re starting to learn the car, we’re starting to know what the limitations of the car are and eventually we may address them or we may improve it.
“So I think the next three or four races will first indicate what is the true performance and potential of our car compared to the others, so we will wait for them before having a judgement.”