Mattia Binotto says Scuderia Ferrari still have work to do in order to close the gap to the Mercedes AMG Motorsport team after a difficult British Grand Prix for the Maranello-based outfit.
Charles Leclerc may have finished on the podium, but team-mate Sebastian Vettel was outside the points in sixteenth having collided with Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen heading into Club corner whilst the two battled for that final spot on the podium. The German spun into the gravel and then needed to return to the pits slowly with damage, causing him to finish a lap down on the leaders.
However, Binotto, Ferrari’s Team Principal, says Pirelli’s tyres were once again limiting the pace of the two SF90’s, meaning they were left to battle the Red Bull’s rather than challenge the Mercedes duo for the victory.
“It was definitely a difficult race, when compared to yesterday’s qualifying,” said Binotto. “Once again today, tyre wear compromised our pace, limiting our performance.
“It clearly demonstrates we still have work to do to close the gap when we are racing in specific circumstances.”
Binotto was pleased with how Leclerc raced at Silverstone, with the Monegasque racer coming out on top of some wheel-to-wheel racing against both Verstappen and the second Red Bull of Pierre Gasly, the move on the latter giving him the final spot on the podium once Vettel had knocked both himself and Verstappen out of the way a couple of laps later.
Vettel’s race was heavily compromised by his mistake in that move to repass Verstappen, and Binotto felt the German was on course for a good result before the incident only for him to earn a ten-second time penalty and be classified behind both Williams Racing drivers in sixteenth.
“Charles drove a strong race and showed once again how good he is in a wheel to wheel situation,” said Binotto. “It was a shame that Seb’s good showing in the race was spoilt by a mistake when fighting Verstappen.
“The Safety Car made Charles’ race more difficult: stopping first was not really an option as it would have put Charles behind his rivals. All we could do therefore was react when Verstappen pitted. In the end, Charles had to attack the Red Bull again on track, which he succeeded in doing to take a well-deserved podium.”