Ferrari Team Principal Mattia Binotto has admitted that the Scuderia has to lower its expectations for the forthcoming Hungarian Grand Prix despite the efforts that have been put in place to improve the competitiveness of the SF1000.
Ferrari has been in the spotlight for recent weeks due to its problems with its 2020 car. The SF1000 has proved to be off the pace so far, lacking outright pace and showing shortcomings in all technical areas. While Ferrari’s 2020 power unit in believed to lack 20-25 horsepower to the field-leading Mercedes engine, the team has also revealed correlations problems with its wind tunnel that has hindered its aerodynamic development programme.
Ahead of the third round of the delayed 2020 championship, Mattia Binotto said that he is very much looking forward to seeing how the SF1000 performs on the narrow and twisty Hungaroring following the fast and flowing Red Bull Ring.
„Hungary brings the curtain down on the first triple-header in this very compressed season. The Hungaroring is a very different track to Spielberg in Austria, which hosted the first two races. It will be interesting therefore to see how the cars behave on a track that requires maximum aerodynamic downforce. Given that overtaking in Hungary, unlike Austria, is usually a rare occurrence, it means that tyre management over a single lap and being well-prepared for qualifying will be of vital importance.”
Asked on the expectation of his team for the Hungarian Grand Prix, the Swiss-Italian tried to play down the chances of the Scuderia, defining the target as scoring as many points as possible with the current package of the SF1000.
„We know that the performance level of our car has not matched our expectations, nor that of our fans, but we are working flat out on every area to improve as quickly as possible. Our aim this weekend is simple and straightforward: to score as many points as possible. To do that, we must work perfectly in every area, from the drivers, to car preparation to how we operate on track, to reliability.
Although Sebastian Vettel started his last season with Ferrari at the Austrian Grand Prix, the championship has kicked off in a rather dismal way for the German driver. The quadruple world champion only scored a single point in the first two races at the Red Bull Ring after he was involved in crashed at both grands prix.
“After the poor showing last weekend in Spielberg it's good that I can get straight back on track. The Hungaroring is quite a physically demanding circuit for the driver, because with hardly any straights. In fact there are so many corners and usually, the Grand Prix is held at a very hot time of year.
„It’s also a track that attracts a lot of Ferrari fans and supporters from Germany too, so it will be very strange racing without seeing them cheering in the grandstands,” concluded Vettel.
Charlec Leclerc stressed that the Hungaroring is a circuit that punishes drivers for small mistakes due to its nature. “I’m really looking forward to being back in the car. I like the Hungaroring, which is a very technical circuit, featuring several tricky areas where you pay for the slightest mistake with lap time. That’s why, especially in qualifying, you have to put together the perfect lap.
„Budapest is one of my favourite stops on the calendar, because the city is so beautiful, and we usually meet lots of enthusiastic fans there. It will be a bit different this time and we will do our best to put on a good show for them,” said the Monegasque.