Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Monaco, 2019

Ferrari needs answers “very soon” on changes for 2020 car

2020 F1 season

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Ferrari does not have long left to understand whether its current problems mean fundamental changes are needed for its next F1 car.

Team principal Mattia Binotto said work on the team’s new design for the 2020 F1 season is already well underway. However Ferrari has recently admitted it is looking into whether it needs to change the concept behind its current car, which could influence their plans for next year.

“Next year’s car project has been started since many weeks and months,” said Binotto. “We’re already developing next year and by summertime normally the project is quite ahead already. So I think if there’s anything that needs to be addressed for next year it needs to be done very soon as well.

“We are both working in parallel on these projects because we need to improve and I think there is much to learn and whatever we may do on the current car project will be to the benefit as well of next year.”

Binotto said the team must improve “race on race” but immediate improvements this weekend are unlikely.

“We’ve got some programmes which have been launched back at Maranello to eventually address the issues we’ve seen in the last couple of races.

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Baku City Circuit, 2019
Analysis: How Ferrari’s car concept choices spoiled their start to 2019
“But I don’t think that there will be any magic solution in Canada. The car is the one we have [in Monaco].”

Sebastian Vettel won from pole position for Ferrari in Canada last year. The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve’s long straights could play to the team’s strong top speed. However Binotto expects Mercedes, who have won every race so far this year, will remain the team to beat.

“I think we will be in a better shape compared to Barcelona but I think they’ve still got the best car and the strongest car at the moment. So I think they are still the ones that should be ahead but maybe the gap will be closer.

“If there’s any opportunity, we will be ready to take it.”

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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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6 comments on “Ferrari needs answers “very soon” on changes for 2020 car”

  1. it’s telling that there are no development parts. I know it’s traditionally not a race that teams bring major upgrades to but still, you might expect them to be working overtime to make up ground. have they already called time on this season? it would be a bold move, that would almost certainly consign them to 3rd in the title race.

    on the other hand, if they have a smooth weekend and show bahrain/baku levels of performance, then we’ll all be saying what a great comeback and talking about leclerc as a possible title contender…

    1. It is not a bold move to call time on this season.

      Mercedes has scored a historic record start to a season. They are bringing a new engine this race, and even with old one, they were faster on all types of tracks.

      To Ferrari second or third does not matter much. They have fundamental flaws in their concept especially in how they use their tires. If it is a suspension design issue, that will most likely take a new season to fix. Or a B car. Their Aero is also different to what Mercedes and RedBull are using. Right or wrong, they are slower.

      Now would be very correct time to stop developing a wrong concept and start on a new concept, determine if it is indeed the right way to go. Then potentially release a B spec of the car to verify the lessons learned.

      Otherwise they go in to next season blind without knowing if their new concept is actually better than the wrong concept of this year. Developing to a marginal gain this year, would only take them further in the wrong direction.

    2. One could also read this as a sign that there’s a very technical-oriented person at the helm now, and he leads team with a more process-oriented, deeper and calmer approach, as opposed to trying to put plasters over sinking ship for economical/marketing reasons – kinda like Mercedes seems to be doing – very focused on deep engineering understanding and smooth process design.
      Which would be encouraging.
      So for now I’ll choose to have this as my opinion.

  2. Adam (@rocketpanda)
    6th June 2019, 13:23

    Thinking about it, whether Ferrari are on the right or the wrong track almost doesn’t matter – the fact they are slower currently and don’t seem to really know why while Mercedes goes from 1-2 finish to 1-2 finish is kinda grim for the future. If Ferrari are going down a wrong path (and not for the first time) it will take time to correct that and even if they fix it for next year Mercedes aren’t exactly going to stand still so at best they’ll probably still be behind them next year.

  3. I think Ferrari spend too much time wondering about how to beat Mercedes and not enough time worrying about keeping Red Bull’s drivers behind their own drivers. Surely beating a beatable team is the first essential to winning a WCC.

    1. @drycrust Yes, they seemed to be trying to hard to help Vettel attack Mercedes, using Leclerc more as a pawn in that regard. Then they realised that wasn’t working anyway and probably were shocked by the fan outrage over this approach.

      Also they should stop trying to be different and confuse that with “being clever”. Like going or a Q2 fast lap on medium tyres in Baku.

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