Ferrari Austrian GP pace worse than expected - Binotto
Ferrari face a race against time to bring upgrades to the Styrian Grand Prix, team principal Mattia Binotto declaring the Formula 1 season opener to have been 'tougher than expected'.
Pre-season testing was less than encouraging for Ferrari. Even allowing for the fact it is difficult to read too much into the timesheets, it was clear the Italian manufacturer was struggling.
Ahead of the season opening Austrian Grand Prix, Binotto revealed the team had completely changed its aerodynamic development plan as a result of the negative test, and upgrades would therefore be delayed until the Hungarian race, the third event of the truncated season.
"The race team has stayed in Spielberg in between the first two races and back in Maranello, the factory is in full swing to try and come up with answers to the questions raised in the first Grand Prix," said Binotto.
"We knew we would have a tough start to the season and it was even more so than we had expected. That’s why we’re working flat out to try and already bring some of the updates due for Hungary to this next race.
"It’s a race against time but we’re doing our utmost. The fact we are racing again at the same track is a further reason to bring the updates here, so that we can confirm if they work and that our development direction is the right one."
Such was the lack of pace shown by Ferrari in Austria, that Sebastian Vettel failed to qualify for the top-ten shoot-out, and even Charles Leclerc, who, by keeping out of trouble in the race, finished second, was out-qualified by midfield teams McLaren and Racing Point.
Binotto added: "Our aim in the Styrian Grand Prix is to get all the potential out of our package and make the most of any opportunity to bring home as many points as possible.”
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