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Ferrari confident of closing speed gap to Mercedes

Ferrari confident of closing speed gap to Mercedes

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Ferrari confident of closing speed gap to Mercedes

Ferrari confident of closing speed gap to Mercedes
Ian Parkes & Sam Hall

Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto is confident the Scuderia has made a significant recovery with its power unit after a disastrous 2020.

On power-dependent circuits such as Spa-Francorchamps and Monza, Ferrari found itself woefully short of its three engine rivals - Mercedes, Renault and Honda.

At a team launch for the coming season - that included drivers Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz - Binotto confirmed he is confident the issues that plagued the team last year have been overcome.

"I think last year the main issue was the speed on the straight line, not only the power but also drag," said Binotto.

"We've worked a lot, both on the power unit and the car aerodynamics, to reduce the drag of the car.

"Based on our simulations, on what we can see in terms of power output from the dynos, and the drag of the car from the wind tunnel, I think we have recovered quite a lot of speed on the straight lines.

"So I am expecting speed to not be such an issue as it was. We hope to be competitive, but we will know it only when being in Bahrain. It's always relative to what the others are doing.

"But we believe the car is certainly more efficient compared to the one we had last year, and when I'm saying efficient I mean from both the aero and power point of view."

Whilst remaining positive about the progress made at the Maranello factory, Binotto conceded it is "impossible" to claw back the gap to Mercedes in just a few months.

The team endured its worst season for 40 years last term as it finished sixth in the constructors' standings with just 131 points, 442 behind the championship-winning Silver Arrows.

"I do believe that our car is better than the one of last year," added Binotto.

"Obviously, you cannot compare them as well because there is a change in the aero regulations, on the floor, on the back.

"But the way I have seen the car developing both in the wind tunnel and on the dyno, I believe we have made a significant effort.

"But you cannot know where we are as we are not on track, and that will be very important for us.

"We need to be realistic. The gap to the best was very important and not something we can recover in a single winter."

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