Ferrari warn improvements not "day and night" after polished Leclerc drive
Mattia Binotto has warned that Ferrari has not found a "day and night" improvement despite its level of performance at the Portuguese Grand Prix.
Charles Leclerc qualified and finished a fine fourth, while Sebastian Vettel recovered from a poor qualifying to take a point for 10th, only his second in the last six races.
Leclerc had also qualified fourth at Mugello and the Nürburgring, only to plummet as the Scuderia suffered from a mystifying loss of pace on race day.
On this occasion, the Monégasque appeared to prosper from the third and final raft of incremental upgrades at Portimão.
Binotto, however, warned against believing the weekend marked a turnaround, suggesting the closeness of the midfield battle had skewed the magnitude of its improvements.
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"I don't think that [the improvement] is day and night compared to Mugello," said Binotto. "The car has slightly improved but it is not a completely different picture.
"When the battle is so close in the midfield, a couple of tenths might help with staying behind or being ahead. I think obviously, in the race, our race pace in Mugello was very poor compared to qualifying.
"Here, the race pace has been better but there are many reasons for it, not only the car upgrades."
Leclerc initially struggled at the start of the race as he fought to switch his medium tyres on in the cold, damp conditions on lap one.
The Monégasque, however, came alive at the end of his first stint, at one stage hunting down Max Verstappen's Red Bull to within three seconds.
Expressing his pleasure with the improvements the team has made, Leclerc said: "We worked very hard on our race pace and finally we have had a weekend with both a decent qualifying and a good race, so I am very pleased.
"It’s good to see the progress the team is making race after race. If I look at my personal performance so far it has been a good season.
"I still have work to do, there are definitely a lot of things I still need to improve and I hope that looking back at this year I will remember it as a positive one."
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