Ferrari’s sporting director Laurent Mekies says the team expected an “extremely difficult” season in 2020 after pre-season testing.
“In Barcelona, we quickly realised that we had serious concerns about some aspects of the performance of the car,” he said.
“We knew it was going to be very difficult. We didn’t know yet at that time how long it was going to be for us to understand that fully and even less to fix it.”
Matters were complicated when the beginning of the season was postponed due to the global pandemic.
“Then we went to that crazy situation where we all jumped into Covid at that stage and couldn’t touch or run the car for a few months,” Mekies explained. “So I guess there were indications there that the season would be extremely difficult, as it turned out to be.”
Despite finishing in the bottom half of the points standings, Mekies believes the team can be pleased with its response to a challenging season and the progress they were able to make.
“It’s certainly a good example of what you learn in a time of crisis,” he said.
“It’s in this sort of situation that you learn the most. And I think what we take away is the way the team has been able to stay united during this time to still try to push as hard as we could despite the disappointing results.”
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He acknowledged the progress they had made may not be immediately apparent because they weren’t racing at the front.
“There was a lot of small but very significant achievements in the year that were unnoticed because we were at the back,” he explained.
“But, again, it’s something that hopefully will make us stronger and that we will carry on to next year.
“In a nutshell what we take from that is even in such a hard season, globally difficult conditions, the way we have fought and pushed our limits I think is what we will take [away].
“When you are back there, you are bound to take more risks. The drivers are taking more risks, the team takes more risks with the strategy, because that’s what you have to do to get a good result. So that sort of getting out of your comfort zone, if you can break out of your comfort zone, certainly will make us stronger.”