Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Circuit de Catalunya, 2021

Ferrari draw encouragement for rest of 2021 from Spanish GP performance

2021 F1 season

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Ferrari’s Spanish Grand Prix performance bodes well for the rest of their 2021 campaign, team principal Mattia Binotto believes.

The team out-scored rivals McLaren last weekend, for the first time this year, striking a blow in the contest between the two for third place in the constructors championship. They left the Circuit de Catalunya separated by five points.

Binotto described his team’s weekend as “pretty healthy”. He said they had made clear progress with their tyre management and race pace, which had previously not been up to the level of their qualifying performances.

“We achieved what was our objective, which was gaining points for the constructors, try to finish as high as possible and I think fourth and seventh has been a good result,” said Binotto. “As well, we know that Barcelona is a difficult circuit and normally if you are doing well there you may do well on many circuits.

“Overall the car performed as expected not only [in] quali, I think we had a good pace relative to the quali and I think as well that both drivers did a good weekend.”

The team scrutinised its performance after the previous round in Portugal to understand where it had gone wrong with its tyre management, said Binotto. Carlos Sainz Jnr registered the team’s only point-less finish of the season so far at Autodromo do Algarve, falling out of the top 10 after switching to the medium compound and suffering with degradation.

Following Sunday’s grand prix, Binotto pointed out the team had been third-quickest in the race for the second time this year. “In Imola it has been the case as well,” he said.

“I think Bahrain was very specific because of the overheating of the rears and I think that in Portimao we made some mistakes in terms of tyre management. But I think that here at least we were focussed on that aspect and we managed it well. And I think that finally it’s good to see that in the race we have the pace we had in the quali.”

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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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15 comments on “Ferrari draw encouragement for rest of 2021 from Spanish GP performance”

  1. How the mighty have fallen if Leclerc finishing nearly a minute behind the winner and Sainz nearly lapped is considered a good weekend.

    1. @scbriml

      But hey, at least they’re still fighting with the McLaren’s up front! …
      (… of F1.5)

      1. True, it’s interesting to see again the ferrari vs mclaren rivalry, also in an unusual position of midfield leaders.

    2. Well if we’re being pedantic they fell last year. Last time Ferrari had a season nearly as bad as that heads started rolling all over Maranello, they seem to have learned from that mistake and put faith in their current leadership.

      I see a lot of people (Ferrari fans specifically) moaning about Ferrari not having a winning car this year, but it has to be seen in the context of the very poor performance of last year. The true test of whether Ferrari has fallen will of course come when the 2022 cars hit the track in anger.

      1. Indeed, that’s what I thought too, that people expecting more than 3rd best car from ferrari this year are over-demanding considering last year.

        Especially if you consider how big the gap is between red bull and mclaren\ferrari.

        1. And that means I put red bull 2nd btw.

    3. And it is very clear the midfield is exactly where it was last year.

  2. I enjoy that the two leading articles on this website at this precise moment are saying exactly the opposite things.

    Here we have Ferrari saying that a strong Barcelona performance bodes well for the season ahead; there we have Mercedes saying that a strong Barcelona performance is not necessarily a good indicator for the rest of the calendar.

    I wonder who is wrong?

    1. @red-andy Obviously Ferrari. If the question is ever is Ferrari or someone else wrong, the answer is always Ferrari.

      1. @wsrgo That is a way of settling things, very true, especially when it comes to competence.

      2. Still, you have to appreciate that they’re making remarks about their own team/situation… not others.

    2. F1oSaurus (@)
      14th May 2021, 10:14

      Heh true, I was wondering the same. It makes sense though since Barcelona was traditionally the track where the big updates would come and therefore would lock in performance order for a while. Now this has not been so much the case.

      Still, if Ferrari has resolved some issues, it probably bodes well for them on future races.

  3. It’s funny how some people actually expected or wanted Ferrari to completely close the gap to Mercedes and RB over the winter, with about 70% of the car being carried over from last year and anything less than podiums, wins and championships are considered a huge letdown.

    Yes, the team brought their poor results of last year upon themselves, but their progress this season is nothing to be ashamed of. Their goal for this season was never to win races, they are smart enough to know that’s not possible, given the limited time and development restrictions. Ferrari went into the season with realistic goals: Finish P3 in the WCC, cut down the deficit to the fastest car and doing that by spending as little ressources as possible to not compromise their 2022 season.
    They seem to be on the right path to achieve those goals and that’s what is important to them.

    The real test will come next year with the big regulation changes. Besides chassis and aero, Ferrari will also need to make a significant step on the PU over the winter to be competitive. They made some good progress from last year, but they need even more for next season, as they seem to be at least 20 bhp behind Mercedes and Honda. Will they get back to the front in 2022? Time will tell, but I wouldn’t count them out yet.

    1. Indeed, I agree with this, happy to see ferrari doing better, not cause I’m italian but I’m used to a competitive ferrari.

    2. Steven Van Langendonck
      14th May 2021, 20:29

      Either that or they are convinced that Ferrari is somewhere in the bottom of the midfield and cannot wrap their head around the fact that they are the best of the rest or there about.

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