Ferrari sacrifices its position in favour of Formula 1

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Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto said that agreeing to the postponement of the thorough technical revamp for 2021 was a tough decision to make for the Scuderia.

Although the sport had been preparing itself for one of the most significant technical changes in its history, teams, the FIA and Liberty Media agreed on March 19 during a video conference to delay the technical overhaul until 2022 in order to ease the financial pressure caused by the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

The delay also means that teams will use their 2020 cars that are yet to hit the track in race conditions, in the forthcoming season with no possibility of working on the chassis and several mechanical components. The development freeze puts teams that have produced a less competitive car for 2020 in a rather difficult situation as they will carry their disadvantage through into next season.

The initial impressions following the pre-season testing were that Ferrari’s 2020 F1 machine, the SF1000 was no match to the cars of its direct rivals, Mercedes and Red Bull. The Italians’ car was lacking of straight-line speed and slow-speed cornering speed, suggesting that it is just ahead of the mid-field outfits.

With its possibly less competitive 2020 car, the delay of the new technical rules could put Ferrari at a disadvantage for two seasons. Speaking to Sky Italia, team principal Mattia Binotto confirmed that it was a tough decision for him to agree to the postponement of the technical overhaul.

"Considering the current baseline and the feedback from the tests, we don't think we have an advantage with this choice. It wasn't an easy decision, but it had to be made. It is a special moment, and it was important to give a responsible signal for the future."

While the actual chassis and several components will be retained in 2021, aerodynamic development will be open. Binotto said that Ferrari will pay close attention to fine details and areas that could fall under restrictions in terms of development. "The regulations [for 2021] remain the same [as in 2020], but there will still be room for aerodynamic development," he explained. We have yet to define that in detail.”

"We are discussing it with all the representatives of the teams and with the FIA, to understand what will be frozen and what will be open to development. But we aim to maintain the DNA of Formula 1, which remains competition and comparison,” he concluded.