Scuderia Ferrari headed into the campaign as the favourite on the basis of a strong pre-season showing, but was powerless to prevent Mercedes from racking up eight straight wins and establishing a sizeable points lead that has been maintained heading into the summer break.
While the SF90 has benefitted from superior straightline speed, its downforce deficiency has left Ferrari exposed at circuits dominated by low and medium-speed corners. Adding more downforce to the SF90 has long been a priority for Ferrari, and Binotto admits he will have placed a greater emphasis on it in hindsight, also because this will have helped the car work the 2019-spec Pirelli tyres.
Mattia Binotto confiremd for Motorsport.com that Scuderia Ferrari’s current balance between downforce and drag was “not a question of philosophy” or car concept, and that extra horsepower from its engine was also a factor in its superior top speed. The Italian side’s Team Principal admitted being roundly defeated in the Spanish Grand Prix, at the venue of the SF90’s strong pre-season performance, was particularly “discouraging”.
“It’s true as well that if you look at the first half of the season, it’s quite strange how in certain races some cars are performing well and others not – even maybe the cars which have been the fastest at the start of the season, in some tracks were certainly not the fastest. I think it’s really up and down, of all the cars. If there is anything that needs to be looked at, it’s maybe the average. And maybe as well winter testing simply it was a case where we were overperforming or they were underperforming, whatever were the reasons, and that turned into a different situation on different circuits, different time, different weather, different tyres.” – he explained.
Mattia Binotto went on to add: “We missed a few opportunities, and certainly today if you would’ve looked at the result with a few wins, the picture would’ve been completely different”. – the Scuderia Ferrari Team Principal concluded.