Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Circuit de Catalunya, 2020

Ferrari’s 2020 “catch-up” could affect 2021 programme – Binotto

2020 F1 season

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Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto says the team’s efforts to “catch up” in the 2020 F1 season could have ramifications for its 2021 development programme.

Major new technical regulations will come into force next year, prompting teams to decide how soon to switch their efforts from this year’s car to the drastically different 2021 chassis.

Binotto has played down Ferrari’s chances ahead of the first F1 race of the new season, saying the team is not as fast as its principle rivals Mercedes and Red Bull, and could even face a threat from Racing Point. He said the team’s first priority will be to improve the performance of its current car.

“How much 2020 catch-up will affect the 2021, that’s certainly a good point,” said Binotto in response to a question from RaceFans. “I think it’s a balance that we need, or a compromise we’ll need to find out.

“When we are very early in the season you cannot compromise the entire season. So at the start of the season, we’ll certainly keep pushing on 2020 as much as we can because it’s done for us to understand the car, the weaknesses and hopefully it’s things that we can address as soon as possible.

“If I think after a few races we will understand that the gap is too big maybe it’s a considerations that we can take into account. But it’s an early stage right now, I think it’s just a few days of testing. I think there are things that we can address on the car hopefully soon. So at the moment we should keep our plan or whatever was it for 2020/2021.”

[smr2020test]The new Ferrari has gained time in cornering but lost some in straight-line speed, said Binotto. He believes their performance deficit is not due to any problem with the correlation between their real-world performance and simulations.

“We developed the car to our best effort and here is the very first testing so you are trying at first to understand correlation with certainly the wind tunnel and simulator,” he said last week. “But I don’t think we’ve got an issue of correlation.

“If we look relative to ourselves, we have improved a lot cornering but we are worse on the straight. I think that’s the balance. The others have maybe done a better job. I think again that’s only the picture you may have here in Barcelona and we’ll need at least the first two or three races to have a clearer picture.”

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 25 comments on “Ferrari’s 2020 “catch-up” could affect 2021 programme – Binotto”

    1. tell me again why they fired Arrivabene and how exactly Lennard Hofstetter is doing a better Job ….?

      1. Savage. He is honest but what is the point? It’s like admiting you have a problem but denying you are the problem. Mattia you want to get fired? This how you get fired, and then sign for Mercedes.

      2. @mrboerns if we look into Binotto’s performance, he is more like Stuart the comic book store owner :D

      3. @mrboerns I do believe that sacking Arrivabene was perhaps the right choice, however, I don’t think appointing Binotto as team principal was the right choice. He was doing fantastically well as the lead technical director, and under his technical leadership, Ferrari was moving in the right direction with their car. Being completely honest, he did a much better job than James Allison did in turning around their fortunes. But being a team principal is more about politics and managing people, and I don’t believe Binotto should have been removed from his role in the technical department where he excelled just to assume that position. What Ferrari need is a team principal like Toto Wolff or Ross Brawn who will deal with the political and management side, and allow someone like Binotto to lead the technical team, like Paddy Lowe or James Allison did/is doing at Mercedes.

        1. @mashiat Well, under Arrivabene the whole ‘Everyone blame everyone and fire anyone’ culture of the later Montezemolo/Alonso era changed towards a way more positive and constructive culture and it showed with the team continously improving from having a dog (14) to having an occasional race winner (15 and sort of 16) to having a car that could sometimes beat the Mercedes on pure merit (17) to a car that was probably better than the mercedes over the season (18). They axed him for not winning 18 (which was in no small part Vettel’s doing) which to me pretty much marks a return to the traditional Ferrari ways that made them uncompetitive in most of the 60ies, 70ies, 80ies and 90ies and 2010s, except for the streaks with Lauda and Schumacher. And look at the trend they seem to be describing right now with regards to competitivness…

    2. Pathetic.

    3. If they are concerned about the performance of the SF1000, they should see how the first 4 races pan out and then switch everything to the 2021 car. What’s the point of chucking good resource at a bad car?

      1. Thats probably what will happen, and they already know it.

        1. And even after writing off 2020 season this overgloriified midfield team will screw up 2021 season royally.

      2. Many millions is the point, the money you get for second place versus third place in the constructors is significant.

        1. @aliced Although Ferrari already receives more money from each season than any other team irrespective of the final WCC-position, so in that regard, the 2nd-place versus 3rd-place difference in prize money is rather irrelevant.

    4. That car just doesn’t look as polished or refined as the Merc or Redbull. Merc have evolved Ferrari’s sidepod concept at the first try, Red Bull is a work of art aerodynamically. Ferrari still plodding around with a full width nose and a car that looks almost identical to last year. Pathetic.

    5. So either they are doing the biggest expectation management ever or they have a rocket under them and they hope Mercedes and Red Bull become complacent…

    6. So, Ferrari for the championship in 2022, if they are giving up on this year and the next.

    7. Wait and see

    8. I have a feeling this isn’t really a bluff, and Ferrari really is lagging behind. But even if it is, I wouldn’t back Ferrari to win the championship even if it had the quickest car in F1. They proved time and time again in 2017, 2018 and 2019 that they don’t have what it takes to go up against Mercedes over a season, even excluding driver mistakes.

    9. RocketTankski
      3rd March 2020, 11:51

      The team will be up burning the midnight oil to find extra performance

      1. Allegedly burning the midnight oil. We reached an agreement about that.

    10. The only way Ferrari would win this, is if Mercedes gets caught cheating with their power unit.

      :D Car itself looks fantastic, best looking F1 car right now.

      But hey, slow is slow.

      1. :D Car itself looks fantastic, best looking F1 car right now.

        I assume you just like the livery because that front end is hideous and has been since 2016 🤢

    11. I guess Ferrari will be focussed on ‘research activities on carbon emissions and sustainable fuels’ jeopardising both 2020 and ’21+.

      1. LOL. Code for no more fuel fiddles.

    12. This all seems strange to me. There’s the fuel flow thing, but surely having to comply to the tweak of every car having two fuel flow meters is not what has caused their supposed lagging in performance? Binotto stating very early on that they have performance issues, when this is supposed to be testing, meaning we are supposed to be unsure of exactly where the teams stand amongst each other until they actually race in anger, yet Binotto already knows they’re behind and might be for 2021 as a result? Unless they pack it in early this year and emphasize 2021? What?

      I don’t get it. How can they not have converged to be closer to Merc and RBR than last year, as seems to be the general expectation when rules are so stable? They’ve gone the opposite direction, and Binotto knows it already?

      Really quite strange. All the extra money and resources, and the veto power (not that that enters into it specifically at the moment) and yet what has that guaranteed them? Rhetorical question because obviously they haven’t won a Championship in over a decade. If Binotto didn’t seem so sure, I’d say they were sandbagging, and I’ll still be surprised if they aren’t fighting for second in the WCC. If not, that’s just wow.

      Otherwise then, if they are not fighting for the Championships and they know it, they sure shouldn’t have much trouble managing their drivers, as there is no point fighting over status on the team when their main task will be to advance the car, maximize points, and certainly not harm each other on track. Sounds like the last thing they need is infighting, but rather cooperation between the drivers should be the order of the day.

    13. This year, Ferrari has to sort out a key are in the car: Sebatian Vettel
      It is important before they new regulations are in place.

    14. I believe Binotto learned a hard lesson last year. They are playing down their performance. Ferrari doesn’t look to be at the same level as the Mercs or Red Bull, but for sure they will be stronger that they trying to portray. I think they will be in contention for wins in the majority of circuit s, but won’t have the same level of advantage on the power circuits as before. I believe they are trying to be more consistent than other years, which is a key to win championships on longer seasons. And he is clearly trying to do a Toto in his comments. That’s my opinion. If they don’t screw up on race strategy this year, they might have a chance to try to snatch the title from Mercedes. But this is assuming Red Bull won’t be in the mix. If Red Bull is better than last year, this might play in advantage to Mercedes, as Red Bull and Ferrari will take points from each other more often.

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