W How good is Ferrari? Sebastian Vettel answered this question: “We are not as bad as it might look from the outside, but also not as good as we wanted to be.” And team boss Mattia Binotto also contradicts the suspicion that Ferrari would deliberately bluff in order to A positive surprise start to the season in Melbourne.
“We're not playing a game and are as good as we expected. Apparently others have made greater progress over the winter. I can confirm that we don't have the fastest car in the field. That's an honest assessment. We will only know how far behind we are after three races. ”
The extrapolations for the gap between Ferrari and Mercedes vary between four and six tenths per lap. 'We are one lap further behind than over a racing distance,' reveals Binotto.
The person wearing glasses explains this by saying that the Ferrari SF1000 produces more downforce than its predecessor. This also protects the tires. 'We now have more leeway to manage the tires.'
The second positive aspect of the test drives is reliability. “We finished our program and learned a lot about the car.” On a scale from 0 to 10, Binotto rates the fulfillment of the test objectives with an 8 and the lap times on the track with “less than 6”.
Faster in corners, slower on straights
Only in the Ferrari did not show its true strengths in the first week of testing. There wentBut it is only about checking the systems and understanding the car. The game of hide-and-seek stopped on the fifth day of testing. The obfuscation was part of what other teams do too. The drivers set lap time in the morning and a race simulation in the afternoon.
Sebastian Vettel had the worst of the six days. The track was 1.3 seconds slower than on the first two days and one second than on the final day because of the strong wind and the racing line, which was cleanly cleaned by the rain.
Charles Leclerc's fastest lap was just 0.164 seconds longer by Valtteri Bottas, but Mercedes drove with reduced power on the last day for fear of further damage. And probably more gasoline in the tank than Ferrari.
Binotto openly addresses the weaknesses of the SF1000. “We are now faster in the corners, but slower on the straights.” The reasons are obvious. “We found a lot of downforce, unfortunately at the expense of air resistance. In addition, our engine is not as good as last year. ”
Binotto justifies the power deficit with concerns about reliability. Speculations that Ferrari intentionally did not turn the power screw contradict both Vettel and Binotto. 'We turned up the engine every now and then, just not in the laps where everyone looks at it,' explained Vettel. Binotto adds: “We haven't hidden anything in the engine. That is our real potential. “
Air resistance construction site quickly eliminated
Against panic That it could be another season of disappointment, Ferrari reassures oneself with the phrase: “This season is still long. It hasn't even started yet. ”
The construction site with too high air resistance is easier to tackle than the one with the engine. A new, more efficient rear wing came in the second week of testing. 'But it also produces less downforce,' Binotto regrets.
Ferrari has to be patient with the engine. The first intervention is just nowpossible with the second specification. The balance also has to get better, demanded Vettel: “When I look at the Mercedes, they drive their laps with ease. We have to work more in the car. ”
The lag behind the leaders will determine the rest of the program in Maranello. “First we have to find out how much we are missing. It will depend on whether we will sacrifice something from the 2021 program for 2020 or whether the gap is so great that it is not worth it. '