Despite Ferrari’s best efforts to turn around its current situation with its woeful 2020 F1 car, the SF1000, team principal Mattia Binotto has warned the Scuderia’s fans not to expect a complete turnaround to the pecking order.
Ahead of the coronavirus-delayed start of the 2020 FIA Formula One World Championship, Binotto has revealed that his team would compete at the first two rounds of the season with the basic configuration of the SF1000 that performed less promising during the pre-season testing. While admitting that Ferrari’s 2020 car lack sheer speed, the Lausanne-born said that his engineers did not have enough time to react to the uncompetitiveness of the SF1000 due to the extended shutdown at the factories.
Ferrari is planning to introduce upgrades to its car in different steps, starting its development programme with a raft of new aerodynamic parts at the third round of the heavily-revised 2020 F1 season, the Hungarian Grand Prix.
After revealing that Ferrari will debut a significant upgrade package to its SF1000 in Hungary, the Swiss-Italian has warned not to expect miracles from the development.
„That’s why we are pushing as hard as we can to bring updates to the car as soon as possible, although we know that no package can be a magic wand that radically changes the hierarchy among the teams. Having said that, we have seen in this first race that a few tenths more or less can make a big difference in terms of grid position, so we must leave no stone unturned,” he concluded.
Reflecting on the season-opener, Binotto praised Charles Leclerc’s performance after the Monegasque grabbed every single opportunity that came his way in the Austrian Grand Prix.
"A really busy weekend ended with a result that far exceeded our expectations going into this race, especially after the way qualifying went. Charles drove an amazing race, fighting like a lion from the first to the last lap and making the most of every opportunity that came his way. Today’s second place is mainly down to him. At least Sebastian managed to get back in the points, but he struggled more than his team-mate with the balance of the car and now we have to work out why and in time for next weekend.
Despite lacking outright speed, Ferrari’s under-performing SF1000 proved its worth when it came to the reliability while rivals were dogged by technical gremling in the 71-lap hot race. „The 19 points we picked up here in Spielberg were also down to reliability, which is always vital, as well as the work the team has done here at the track and back in Maranello over this past week. However, it does not make up for the fact that, in pure performance terms, we are behind, more than we could legitimately have expected," he added.