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Why Ferrari is set to emerge from shadow of worst season since 1980

Why Ferrari is set to emerge from shadow of worst season since 1980

F1 News

Why Ferrari is set to emerge from shadow of worst season since 1980

Why Ferrari is set to emerge from shadow of worst season since 1980
Ian Parkes & Ewan Gale

Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto has provided key insight into the developments made by the Italian outfit as it aims to bounce back sharply from last season's misery.

An under-par power unit, aerodynamic inefficiency and a lack of harmony on occasion dogged the Scuderia's campaign in 2020 as it finished sixth in the constructors' standings, the worst position for the team since 1980.

Binotto has overseen the preparation of a new power unit for this year as well as the enforced rear-end aerodynamic changes and believes he can see progress.

"Obviously we know how the engine is running on the dyno, and when you fit it on the car what you look at is the speed and the relative speed to the others," said Binotto.

"When we were here in Bahrain for the race [end of November], in quali we were very slow on the straights. We did not enter Q3 and we were a distance from pole.

"Now if I look at the data, at least on the speed, on the straights the speed is all right. There does not seem to be a disadvantage as there was last year."

On the rear-end changes and Ferrari's quest to reduce the draginess of its car, Binotto added: "It's not only power, it's the drag of the car as well, as we said last year.

"Both of them have contributed in improving our speed on the straights, and today we feel it's not any more a disadvantage.

"We tried to develop the back of the car. What was more important for us was to understand the correlation with the wind tunnel, so gathering data and comparing.

"I think we are pretty happy with the correlation and we've got a good baseline for the next simulations and developments. The correlation was the key data, and so far it's looking pretty well."

With the realisation of the team's troublesome situation after pre-season testing this time last year, the atmosphere at its Maranello base soon turned on its head.

Binotto, however, has highlighted the togetherness of all Ferrari employees as the team works religiously to pull the Prancing Horse out of the hole it finds itself in.

"It's very difficult when you are not performing as you expect because at Scuderia Ferrari your ambition and objective is for the maximum and the best," stated Binotto.

"But last year, while the atmosphere was difficult, in the end, we were very united. It would have been easy to fall into a different situation, seeing the performance we had.

"But the team remains united, it continues to try to work and improve. We are now at the start of a new season, we have a different car and there is new hope, so it is normal that the atmosphere is better."

Binotto also pointed to the new driver pairing of Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc.

"With Carlos as well, he is speaking very well, we have two drivers, experienced but young and they are fitting well on and off track," added Binotto.

"The entire atmosphere at the moment is great, but it will be a long season, 23 races, it may be pretty difficult again, so we need to be prepared, be focused, simply on what is our objective, which is long term, and not forget it."

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