Di Montezemolo wants Ferrari to stop Hamilton matching Schumacher in 2020

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Former president Luca di Montezemolo hopes Ferrari can stop Lewis Hamilton matching Michael Schumacher as a seven-time champion in 2020.

The Briton moved to within one of the German legend after claiming No.6 at the US Grand Prix two weeks ago following another largely dominant season for himself and Mercedes.

And though Di Montezemolo didn't mention the possibility of equalling Schumacher specifically, the sense of urgency in his comments was clear.

“I hope that this sixth title will be the last for Lewis Hamilton and that next year a cycle for Ferrari will start again,” he told Italy’s Radio Rai.

“Seeing Ferrari fight to the last Grand Prix of the season would be the most important thing. There are also reliability problems, but I understand it can happen when looking for the answers.

“As a fan, I hope that next year we [Ferrari] will win and, if it doesn’t happen, we will lose the World Championship at the last race with a very competitive team.”

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Key to that will be not repeating the weaknesses that hampered performance for the first half of 2019, with the SF90 chassis struggling versus Mercedes in particular.

But team boss Mattia Binotto has been satisfied with the progress made.

"At Singapore, we brought our [new aero] package, it was not the only one, but it certainly was a significant one," he explained.

“If we look at the lap time gain we had at the next races, it’s slightly over our expectations.

“We have improved our car in the cornering, we have reduced the gap to the top competitors in cornering, so we are a lot closer now.

"I think on top of that I think we start to understand a bit more those tyres. We are extracting the car’s full potential, especially in qualifying.”