Ferrari Team Principal Mattia Binotto left the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix with positive feelings after the Scuderia’s 2020 F1 car’s performance was once again impressive thanks to the upgrades introduced recently.
After enduring a difficult start to the season, Ferrari was adamant to bounce back, commencing a three-stage upgrade programme at the Russian Grand Prix. The following rounds, the Eifel and the Portuguese Grands Prix also saw the Scuderia introduce further new parts with the Maranello-based team bringing some modifications to last weekend’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix as well.
While the qualifying session only brought a 7th and 14th starting position for the team, Charles Leclerc was clearly the quickest driver behind the Mercedes duo and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen. Sebastian Vettel also showed an improved race performance and managed to climb as high as fourth before calling into the pits. However, a stripped wheel nut saw Vettel stationary for 13.1s, and the incident deprived him of scoring points on home soil for his team.
While Ferrari struggles for race pace in certain races, inclduing the Tuscan and the Eifel Grands Prix, the car showed a much improved race performance both at Portimao and Imola, leaving Mattia Binotto bouyed about the progress in terms of car development.
"It’s clear to see that we are consolidating the progress we have made in recent races, especially in terms of race pace at a variety of tracks with very different characteristics,” he said.
„That’s important for the rest of this season and for the next one. Once again, Charles did a very good job, both in managing the tyres and when it came to defending position in the closing stages.Seb also had a strong race and we are very sorry for the problem at the pit stop that robbed him of a top ten finish, thus losing the chance to pick up valuable points.”
Leclerc agreed with Binotto, claiming that his SF1000’s tyre managament was impressive, something Ferrari struggled with a few races ago at the Nürburgring. He said: „I was really pushing from the beginning to the end and I feel we were quite competitive during the whole race. Also, we did a good job in managing our tyres."
For the first time this year, Vettel was also delighted with the way his car handled in race trim, and highlighted the importance of the qualifying session which has been his Achilles' heel so far in 2020.
„I was comfortable in the car even if this year the problem is more severe in qualifying, where I struggle to get a feel for the car. We have to remain patient and continue to make gradual progress, as we have been doing.
„If we can start from a bit higher up the grid, the next races could bring us better results,” the quadruple world champion concluded.