Scuderia Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto confirmed that the Italian side’s floor upgrade, which was tested during the first free practice sessions for the 2019 French Grand Prix, did not work as expected and as a result was removed from the car before qualifying at the Paul Ricard circuit on Saturday. Mattia Binotto admitted the team expected Paul Ricard would be a difficult circuit for them but said he was disappointed their upgrade package had not worked as expected:
“We were expecting a difficult race weekend here in Paul Ricard” – Mattia said Binotto after the team’s cars finished third and fifth. “We said it’s a circuit that could be very similar to Barcelona in some respects and if you look at last year we were as poor in Ricard as we were in Barcelona. So I think in that respect we improved a bit, not yet sufficiently, but we were not expecting to close the gap at all here in Ricard. We brought some upgrades, some of them work well, others not. We removed the floor from the car after Friday practice. It’s always a shame when something are not working so we’ve got some homework to do in that respect. But that’s ensuring that we’ve got some margin to improve the car so at least the direction that we are starting to set is the right one. [There’s] still much to do but overall I think that you cannot say [it was] a positive weekend but I think not too bad as well considering initial expectations.” – he added.
Scuderia Ferrari did run its revised front wing, rear and and front brake ducts. Mattia Binotto indicated there were other upgrades not visible on the car’s surface: “I don’t think we got all the answers from this weekend because the floor not working properly [is] a lack of answers,” he admitted. “So we will still work on that one. I think we’ll have some test items again in Austria, try to better understand. I think we will fully understand only when all the parts properly work as expected.”
The race weekend provided further evidence that the team needs to trade off straight-line speed for aerodynamic performance, said Mattia Binotto: ” We are looking for eventually more downforce to the detriment of the speed. I believe the car will not be too efficient but giving more downforce to get the tyres working. That will be the direction to go. I think again here on Saturday we’ve seen how difficult it is to make the tyres work. That’s something on which we are focused on.” – the Scuderia Ferrari Team Principal concluded.