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Ferrari still "lacking in all areas" compared to Mercedes and Red Bull

Ferrari still "lacking in all areas" compared to Mercedes and Red Bull

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Ferrari still "lacking in all areas" compared to Mercedes and Red Bull

Ferrari still "lacking in all areas" compared to Mercedes and Red Bull

Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto believes the Scuderia is still "lacking in all areas" despite the clear progress it has made with its car this season.

Across the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix weekend, the SF21 thrust drivers Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz into the thick of the midfield fight alongside McLaren, Alpine, Aston Martin and AlphaTauri.

It led to Binotto expressing 'relief' the team was competitive again following a miserable 2020, and the new power unit had shown itself to be a step forward.

But asked to assess where the car was still lacking compared to Mercedes and Red Bull, Binotto replied: "This is an analysis we need to perform. I don't think we will go into details, but I would say we are lacking in all the areas.

"We are still lacking in the engine, less than before certainly, so the gap has closed, and I think we are converging.

"Hopefully by next year, when we will again have a new power unit, we may have caught up or be a benchmark for the others.

"I think on the aero as well, medium-to-high speed, downforce, I think it's the entire package again, but now the difference is closer and closer.

"More important is that I think we are working in the right direction with the right tools that will make us stronger and efficient."

Leclerc has been particularly encouraged as he could feel the difference between this year's car and last year's challenger that resulted in Ferrari finishing sixth in the constructors' championship, its worst position for 40 years.

"It's good but we still need to push on that and keep improving on that but it's a step from last year when we were not fighting for the same positions as we were here," said Leclerc, who finished sixth after qualifying fourth. "There's more work to come but we also have to acknowledge when we do a big step forward, and this year is the case, which is a great job from the team."

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