Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Circuit de Catalunya, 2020

Ferrari engine “not as strong as last year” – Binotto

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In the round-up: Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto says the team’s power unit has not proven as strong as last year so far, though they have been “focused on reliability” and their straight-line speed has been affected by increased drag.

What they say

[smr2020test]Binotto was asked whether the team’s reduced straight line speed in pre-season testing was due to engine performance or drag.

I think it’s a combination of the two. I think in terms of overall performance on the power, on the engine, we are not as strong as we were last year.

As I said we focused on reliability and [that’s] somehow compromising eventually the performance. But the drag is significantly affecting the speed.

I think when looking for better speed, you need to look both at the drag and the power of the engine itself. So we will work on both items for the future, no doubt. Drag is the one we may address earlier compared to the power unit. The power unit you need to wait at least for the second unit.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Every year I try to find the right balance between being the fittest athlete I can be, a good businessman and deliver on all platforms. It is far from easy but I give it my all. I listen to my body, fuel it to the best of my knowledge. This year, I’ve managed to push further and be fitter and stronger than the years before which I’m so happy about. I feel more ready than ever as I embark on my journey to the first race of the season. I just want to encourage you all out there, your body and mind are one. Take care of it, feed your body and your mind with the right ingredients. Health is wealth! If you believe you can’t do something that is just the wrong attitude because you can do anything you put your mind to. You need to develop a positive frame of mind and working out will help you do that and feel better about yourself. I know you can do it, now you need to know it too!! #teamlh #youcandoit #believeinyourself

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Comment of the day

Was holding the Bahrain Grand Prix behind closed doors due to the Coronavirus an obvious move for the race promoters?

Easy decision for the organisers/government to make since to them the race is all about public relations more than paid attendance.

The last thing they wanted said on the news was ‘first Bahrain Grand Prix cancelled since the civil uprising and protests of 2011’.
@Nerrticus

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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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  • 28 comments on “Ferrari engine “not as strong as last year” – Binotto”

    1. So… last season’s most powerful power unit is down on power this year. Fascinating.

      Ferrari gives conspiracy theories wings

      1. @jimmi-cynic

        It’s not even a conspiracy theory anymore. It’s a fact.

        1. @jimmi-cynic
          Part of the settlement reached with the FIA implies that Ferrari will remove the controversial technology that is granting it the mighty power advantage over its rivals. Thus, a new PU has been rebuilt over the winter that’s why they are lagging power wise and were focusing on reliability. They are expecting things to get better with the second upgrade of the engine which will be probably available by Canada.
          This statement was made by Binotto a while ago to Motorsport.com and before even the FIA revealed the arrangement with Ferrari.

      2. And last year’s most reliable Power Unit is now focusing on reliability. That explains it all.

      3. Ferrari such a tease. By the way, oil consumption is down 50%.

    2. Our engine last year was completely legal. And to prove that, this year we’ve decided to make it less powerful.

      1. Exactly @sattalyte. Although until I’ve seen what their car is actually like in the first few races then part of me will still half expect that this is gamesmanship

      2. To be fair, I’m quite sure when anyone in F1 are talking about engine performance they are talking relative to the others. After all, that is all that matters. If you have 200 or 1000 bhp is irrelevant, what matters is if your opponent have 210 or 1050 for those two cases. I don’t think Ferraris 2020 engine is worse than its 2019 one, but compared to the improvements made by the other manufacturers Ferrari have probably made the smallest step forward. Probably because there are things they did last year that they can’t do anymore.

    3. So here’s a fun angle… I’m in Australia for work in the broadcast sector. I’ll name no names for legal reasons, but 15 mins before arriving on site, I get told not to come because of a confirmed Coronavirus case. I’ve got tickets for Albert Park this weekend, so obviously I’m taking no risks, but it gets me thinking…
      you can stop spectators from attending, but road crew and all who facilitate the show are just as likely to be exposed.
      What happens to Bahrain GP if someone in the paddock tests positive this weekend?

      1. @eurobrun I feel it’s only a matter of time before more races are cancelled. vietnam seems like it’s hanging by a thread and the european rounds must be worried, even though the worst affected areas do not have races for a while. for something like COVID-19, the grand prix circus is just about the best (worst) thing for efficiently disseminating the virus around the world. the travelling portion of the teams comprises a large number of people, travelling widely and working closely together. if there’s a sudden spike of cases in melbourne or indeed bahrain (where you might expect things to be more contained), it will have a very bad political look, bad optics (if you don’t hate that phrase).

      2. On one level given the low risk to f1 teams and crew on age profiles they might just be better to get it and be done with it!

        1. Sonny Crockett
          9th March 2020, 11:59

          In MotoGP we’ve already seen the cancellation of the Qatar race and the postponement of the race in Thailand.

          Austin, Texas was set to become the default first race of the season but now that is in doubt too.

          I fear that F1 is going to have similar issues post-Bahrain. Possibly sooner…

        2. On one level given the low risk to f1 teams and crew on age profiles they might just be better to get it and be done with it!

          @joe I was listening to Joe Saward on missedapexpodcast and he’d read about a woman getting covid-19 a second time, so by the sounds of it reinfection is possible. There’s limited data on COVID-19. It could be one of those instances where second infection is worse than the first time.

    4. Ahh, Road Atlanta, what a gem! Would take it over COTA and Miami on any day.

      1. pastaman (@)
        9th March 2020, 12:26

        An excellent track, and an absolute classic. But over CoTA? Nah, too narrow for modern F1 cars.

        1. 100% better than Miami, COTA firmly set as a good F1 track . Road Atlanta hosted the Petit le Mans for years with LMP1 of the same foot print as recent F1 cars with no trouble. A spectacular and spectator friendly track if you ask me.
          Liberty should have looked into it a lot more than Miami’s parking lots.

          1. Well remembered, carbonized!

      2. Looks cool @niefer, but COTA is sooooo good it should deffo stay on as a US race imo.

        Miami? I’ll reserve judgment until I see it, but I can’t see a circuit that’s half car park being anywhere near as good as Road Atlanta

        1. Idk @3dom, COTA never struck me as a keeper. I actually like the first 6 turns, but maybe apart from T17&18, the rest of the lap lacks flow to me. Also it’s a 100% error free track, which bothers me a little.

          1. I think 2015 Nico Rosberg disagrees with you there @niefer 😜

            I like the variety that COTA offers, the rise up to turn 1, sweeping first turns that tighten, long straight, and particularly the last 3rd of the lap where different racing lines can be used for attacking/defending. I think the only thing it needs are strips of grass on the other borders of the track so that mistakes are punished and track limits can’t be abused

            1. @3dom – fair enough, LOL!

              I think the only thing it needs are strips of grass on the other borders of the track so that mistakes are punished and track limits can’t be abused

              They would fit turns 17 and 18 well. Or rather, a huge gravel trap.

            2. @niefer yep , and the exit of the “esses” at the end of the first sector 😉

      3. Road Atlanta is for touring cars, not for f1

      1. meaning: “the quality of being trustworthy”
        But that of course should be the team rather than the PU.

    5. Ferrari engine “not as strong as last year” – Binotto

      *pretends to be shocked GIF*

    6. The above article is a bit irrelevant now since it got posted before the decision to ban spectators for the Bahrain GP. I realized from the following three paragraphs:
      ”Bahrain organisers have suspended ticket sales for their event on March 22, as they assess how many spectators will be allowed to attend.”

      ”A spokesman for the Bahrain International Circuit said that, depending on the outcome, refunds could be offered or more tickets put on sale. “The best way to describe it is we paused ticket sales,” he said.”

      ”He would not comment on the possibility that the March 22 race at Sakhir, run under floodlights, could be held without spectators. Bahrain has hosted a GP since 2004.”

      1. I agree with the COTD, though.

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