Mattia Binotto says Scuderia Ferrari are expecting a much stronger weekend in Bahrain than they experienced in the Australian Grand Prix two weeks ago, with the team having made corrections that should enable both Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc to run at or towards the front of the field.
Ferrari went into the season-opening race at Albert Park as favourites but found themselves outpaced, not only by Mercedes-AMG Motorsport duo Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton, but on race day by Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen, with Vettel and Leclerc ending more than fifty-seconds behind race winner Bottas at the chequered flag.
Binotta, the Team Principal of the Maranello-based squad, expects to see the investigations that took place and subsequent corrections made to the SF90 after their performance in Australia has helped improve the team’s competitiveness around the Bahrain International Circuit, around which both traction and braking are key factors.
“The Bahrain Grand Prix is the second round of what will be a very long and demanding season,” said Binotto. “The Sakhir circuit has very different characteristics to the Australian one, with traction and braking being key factors.
“In Bahrain, as a team, we will have to ensure that we have understood and rectified the areas where we were weak in Australia, which therefore meant we were unable to fully exploit our car’s potential.
“In Bahrain, we expect to see the effect of the corrections we have made, although we are well aware that our competitors will once again be very strong. With that in mind, we are keen to get back on track and face up to them.”