Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Hungaroring, 2020

Ferrari ‘don’t fully understand why we are so slow’ – Binotto

2020 Hungarian Grand Prix

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Ferrari haven’t got to the bottom of the problems with their car yet, team principal Mattia Binotto admitted after their “very disappointing” Hungarian Grand Prix performance.

Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc gave the team some encouragement on Saturday as both cars made it into Q2 for the first time this year. The pair claimed places on the third row of the grid.

However Leclerc slipped out of the points in the race, partly due to an early switch to soft tyres which did not pay off. Vettel was lapped on his way to sixth place.

“Our race today, generally speaking, was very disappointing,” Binotto admitted. “After quali at least we were hoping for a better race but that’s not been the case.

“The reasons need to be analysed. Certainly putting Charles on softs was not, finally, the right choice. I think we put him in a difficult position and difficult situation. At the time we thought that putting on softs could be right because we were expecting rain shortly, but that wasn’t been the case. Obviously after[wards] it’s always easier but certainly it was not the right choice.

“But we need to understand our race pace. After three races I think that as Ferrari we cannot be happy at all with the current situation, it’s very disappointing.”

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Michael Schumacher, Ferrari, Spa-Francorchamps, 2004
Ferrari should heed this lesson from its greatest era: Diversity delivers
Binotto said the team will use the two-week gap between races to “have a clear analysis of the performance” of the car and the team at its Maranello base. Restrictions on developing the current chassis and power units may limit how much progress the team can make, but before understanding how much that will constrain them Binotto said they first need to understand why they are so far behind.

“Certainly not having full freedom will make the exercise more difficult,” he said. “I think that we can only understand how much we can close the gap when we have fully understood the reason why we are so slow.

“It’s too early stage to know. So we have first to focus on really trying to understand the car and where we can progress very soon and eventually we’ll answer the question later in the season.”

He admitted that although the team expected a difficult 2020 campaign after pre-season testing, the first three races have been even tougher than they predicted.

“I think we saw in Barcelona that we’re not fast enough. But I think we were not expecting such a difficult situation. So it’s certainly worse compared to expectations.”

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Keith Collantine
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40 comments on “Ferrari ‘don’t fully understand why we are so slow’ – Binotto”

  1. Binocchio, it’s been 5 months since Barcellona. How is it possible that you still don’t have a clue about what’s wrong with the project?

    1. The same as for Red Bull without real testing it very hard to solve airflow problems between virtual and on track. The engine the went back to the same as last year BEFORE the powerspec update. Means they lost a year development engine side.
      So they have 2 problems at the same time.

    2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      20th July 2020, 13:50

      Lol, can’t believe we chose the same nickname:)

    3. I know exactly why Ferrari is slow….last year they cheated, signed a secret deal with the FIA in the offseason to avoid embarrassing Maranello, and now they are adrift because they built this years car off last years fraudulent timings, now being stuck with a dud of their own design, albeit without last years bullshot parts. They get what they earn. They’ve had two world class drivers in Alonso and Vettel, and not one championship for either. Yikes.

  2. It’s his failed technical restructure that has caused this.

  3. Certainly not having full freedom will make the exercise more difficult

    Why have you agreed the freeze despite knowing you are on the back foot PU wise , just not to mention the chassis that was crap already, after the TD issued before the 2019 US GP weekend ?

  4. Same nonsense over and over again from this overglorified midfield team which claims veto and mafia tax are their right just because they are competing in F1. Soon we will hear of “restructuring” of management and some heads will roll while this team will still remain a joke of the grid.

    1. To be honest, the Mercedes PU outclassing the others PU’s right before an engine freeze doesn’t bode well for F1.

      1. To a lesser degree Renault and Honda PU seem to be faring better than Ferrari PU. Next year McLaren will be worth keeping an eye out for with PU change.

        1. @Chaitanya Yes, but the change from Renault to Mercedes power could also bring in a small step back given that the MCL35 is only designed around the Renault PU and its needs. They’ll have to make some adjustments to accommodate the Mercedes PU, which might initially hinder their performance a bit.

    2. Total tiffoso, as ever

  5. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    20th July 2020, 13:50

    It’s the drivers:) They are both terrible…

    How can anyone perform so badly under the stewardship of the legendary Mattia Binocchio?

    1. Well, they might be terrible, but the guy they ditched saved them from an even greater disaster by telling them to put him on mediums instead of those softs @freelittlebirds!

      Seems they have both the bad car and kept on the idea of bad strategy calls too, but dropped the one thing that did work this race!

      1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        20th July 2020, 16:44

        @bascb actually I wasn’t aware of the call by Vettel to box for mediums – thanks for stating that.

        I was kidding of course about the drivers. The drivers are fine – you have a very experienced driver who even in a slump is probably scoring more points than most drivers would at their peak and an inexperienced driver who has a lot of potential but also needs to be managed carefully.

        1. yeah, I figured from the tone of your comment that that was not serious @freelittlebirds :-)

  6. Why does he mention that development is restricted?

    In-season development is still allowed, as far as I understand.
    So the introduction of B-spec car should be allowed, in case they do develop it. And with it they can race in 2021.

    What am I missing?
    (except very limited time for development)

    1. In Ferrari language “development” is another word for “cheats”.
      So its restricted now..

      1. Ouch)
        That was mean :D

  7. It’s because last year, you were cheating.

    1. AH, the truth at last!

  8. playstation361
    20th July 2020, 14:42

    Bad preparation maybe. Climate factor maybe.

  9. I can think of 80 odd brake reasons.

    To their credit, if the car was looked at in isolation, things are OK.

    It turns well, rides curbs, is stable under braking, has good traction out of corner and grips well in the slow stuff.

    But slower than front runners.

  10. Very strange nobody says about Vettel.
    He should have needed to end up 11-th or what? Or just waiting the next race where he would make a mistake and hero Ch luckily takes another 2-th place (where only two car were at finish)?

  11. Won’t be surprised if they do a really bad strategy and subsequently double DNF at their 1000th race.

    1. Two Italian races in a week, one of them being a special Ferrari anniversary. Binotto needs nothing short of a miraculous resurgence or his days as team principal are numbered.

      1. I don’t think they should fire him, surely move him bsck to technical director and bring in a newcteam principal

        1. I agree. But usually employees in a leadership position are rather fired than demoted, for various reasons.

  12. The now banned sensor trick would have made him a hero if they got a title out of it. Even if it got banned later. I mean that Ferrari had blazing speed in a straight line. We are seeing the downside of that risk—having to run a two year old PU spec this year if it got banned. I suppose Ferrari could have developed a “legal” PU in parallel to be sure they didn’t have this situation, but they probably thought they had done the perfect crime and didn’t bother.

  13. Perhaps Binotto, it’s Covid-19

  14. Can someone give Binotto Todt’s phonenumber

  15. Time to get heads down and work.
    With the development freeze 2021 will also be really hard but this is where the passion for Scarlet Red comes through. Once we get through this storm and understand the car completely and everything has settled then progress back to the front can begin.
    Good words from Sir Binotto

    1. AJ (@asleepatthewheel)
      21st July 2020, 5:40

      Quite a long standing storm you guys been enduring

  16. If McLaren finishes getting their **** together, some decent improvement from at least one other team, then add Red Bull definitely getting better….

    Ferrari will struggle to be in the 3rd place, often.

  17. I do think Binotto should be demoted from the Team Principal role, and focus on the technical direction in preparation for 2022. This year is gone, as is 21. Bring in Fred Vasseur to lead the team & let Binotto manage the technical side, I dont doubt there’s very intelligent people working at Ferrari but it needs a fresh set of eyes to assess it & plan the future of the team towards its biggest moment post the Dream Team Era

  18. They need to Veto the engine freeze now!

  19. Mr Binotto all you need to do to begin turning things around is to line up next to each other a Mercedes, a Racing Point,
    a Renault and your Ferrari.
    Standing in front of them have a good look at your car Mr. Binotto.
    You say your car is losing speed and losing performance??
    Three of the four cars have something in common, better aerodynamics. Look at the nose cones. All three are thinner Or more narrow than the width of a drivers helmet.
    Now look at your Ferrari. Maybe the sheer size of the nose of you car is impacting your performance. It’s like pushing a picnic table down the street
    Add a Mercedes nose to your car and watch the tides turn. It works for McLaren, RedBull, Renault and the Pink Mercedes so how about you?
    Changing the nose on the pink car has turned it into maybe the best car in the field. Add to it better drivers and win Championships.
    That’s how you do it Mr. Binotto copy others success and then rip them off by making a better version of what was stolen.
    Something Formula One has accepted for decades.
    If you can’t beat them then copy their ideas and beat them at their own game.

    1. Ben (@scuderia29)
      21st July 2020, 1:16

      If they just put a narrow nose on the car tomorrow the car would perform even worse, changing the nose changes the whole aero philosophy and other parts of the car need to be adjusted also. Although building a car from scratch with the narrow Mercedes nose surely would have been beneficial, the wide thumb noses do seem to be outdated now

    2. Jockey Ewing
      21st July 2020, 22:18

      “Aerodynamics are for people who can’t build engines.”
      “640 kB ought to be enough for anybody.”

      Although yet I have not seen Ferrari to have too many reliability problems, so I dont’t think they will have double DNFs due to that. But can’t they afford to risk cooking the engine at “every race” and take the occasional grid penalty but sometimes have a better result? Although the points system is maybe not enough head heavy to gamble too much like that, imo scoring system is a bit flat here and there and supports reliability, but who else could financially afford that if not them. Of course not even that would make them WDC or constructor title prospects at this season. Seeing the reliability that Danny Ricc’s cars had in the recent years Reanult might have done some experiments in this field.

  20. I always thought the wide front noses looked ugly too. The Mercedes nose was always narrow and as Ben says all the improving cars have adopted this look. From the picture above even Renault have taken it up. Ferrari have been left behind rather like Nokia.

  21. Fred Vasseur in for principal, Binotto back to technical director and focus on performance not politics

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