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Ferrari claim it is "still a long way" from F1 podium

Ferrari claim it is "still a long way" from F1 podium

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Ferrari claim it is "still a long way" from F1 podium

Ferrari claim it is "still a long way" from F1 podium

Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto believes the Scuderia remains "a long way" from a Formula 1 podium.

The team made an encouraging start to the new season with Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz finishing sixth and eighth in the Bahrain Grand Prix, with the former 22 seconds adrift of third-placed Valtteri Bottas in his Mercedes.

Binotto has already made clear Ferrari is "lacking in all areas" compared to Mercedes and Red Bull, whose four drivers are likely to fill the majority of the podium places this season depending on circumstances.

That leaves Ferrari in a fight with its midfield rivals to battle over the few opportunities likely to be presented in the remaining 22 races.

Asked directly as to how long the team will have to wait for a podium with the current SF21, Binotto replied: "It's the gap we are still missing to the top competitors which in the race [in Bahrain] was still big, so it's still a long way. It will also depend on track to track.

"We know we will not work much on the development of the car because we are all focused on the 2022 car design and development back at Maranello, which I'm pretty sure is the same as the other competitors.

"But if I look at the race, we've got feedback from the drivers, they've started learning the car, they are starting to know the limitations and eventually we may address them.

"I think the next three or four races will indicate the true performance and potential of our car compared to the others, so we will wait for them before we have a verdict."

Ferrari has only managed one podium in the last 14 races, that from former driver Sebastian Vettel in a chaotic Turkish Grand Prix in mid-November.

Leclerc was second in last year's season-opener in Austria before claiming third a few races later in the British Grand Prix.

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