Scuderia Ferrari will consider whether it has made a mistake with the concept behind its 2019 Formula 1 car after its latest defeat in the Spanish Grand Prix.
The team’s cars finished fourth and fifth at the Circuit de Catalunya, behind both Mercedes and Max Verstappen’s Red Bull. They had fallen half a minute behind Mercedes before the Safety Car was deployed, which closed the field up.
Team principal Mattia Binotto praised the performance of his rivals, who have now finished first and second in all of the opening five races.
“Before [judging] e our performance I think compliments to Mercedes. They have been really very strong so far in the season so merit to them, they work very well and very hard so that’s not a surprise.
“But on our side I think we can work very hard and very well as well, the season is still, we will never give up, I think that’s our approach. So [there’s] much to learn from here.
“Certainly we are disappointed for the race, we are disappointed for the performance in the weekend. Our hope was to deliver more. I think we brought here some upgrades – aero, engine – and we were expecting somehow to be in the fight but it has not been the case.
“The upgrades work well. I think power-wise, straight-line speed we are good enough but certainly we have some weaknesses in the car that were highlighted this weekend. [It’s] up to us to try to understand, to work, to assess, to improve in the future. It can only make us stronger in the future, that’s the final story of this weekend.”
The SF90s were consistently the quickest cars in the speed trap. But Binotto said their comparatively poor cornering performance could not be solved by simply adding more downforce to the car, suggesting they may need to change the philosophy behind its design.
“We are losing a lot in each corner, not only in the last sector, I think each single corner we are slow, quite a lot of understeer. It’s not only downforce, it’s more than that, it’s something which we need really to analyses and understand.
“Any early conclusion today will be a wrong conclusion. it will take some days to really have a proper analysis and try to understand. It’s a matter of balance, a matter of downforce, it’s a matter of maybe even car concept. I think [while] we do not have the answer, I would like not to go through it.”