Binotto: Ferrari behind F1 rivals but has time to recover

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Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto has conceded the Scuderia is lagging behind their rivals as the first week on testing concludes.

After the fastest times which later proved to be a false dawn last year, the Italian team has been taking a more methodical approach to their pre-season running in Barcelona.

However, on Friday morning an engine problem for Sebastian Vettel cost the team several hours of track time and in a downbeat press conference during the lunch break, Binotto revealed the new approach didn't tell the full story.

“I’m not as optimistic as last year and I think the others are faster than us at the moment," he admitted.

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“How much faster is difficult to judge and we will pull the data in the coming days, but I don’t think we’re as fast as them at the moment.

 

"Do we have any concerns? Yes, when you are not as fast as you want to be, but I think it’s too early to define them so these three days have been very important.

"We have a clear picture which allows a better understanding and what will be more important is to develop the car in the right direction.”

Ferrari head into 2020 eager to put behind their issues from last year and much of the focus with the SF1000 has been on addressing their weaknesses from 2019.

So while Binotto believes his team is trailing right now, he remains confident Ferrari can improve and get back on terms with Red Bull and Mercedes.

"it is a very long season with 22 races potentially so I think there will be time to recover eventually,” he said.

“Let’s wait for next week and Australia until we assess properly the true performance of everybody. We should not forget the history of last year.

“I think it is simply about looking at the delta pace and eventually what we assess with fuel loads and engine modes. Looking at the picture at the front comparing it to ourselves, I think we are not as fast as them.

“I think it is difficult to say because we are not looking at performance yet, we have not optimised the car. That will be clearer next week.”

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