Scuderia Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto has said the team are planning to continue development of their 2019 car, despite being off the pace compared to their closest rivals, Mercedes AMG Motorsport this season.
The Italian outfit had previously been advised to scrap their hopes for a Championship win in 2019 after Mercedes dominance early in the season: Sebastian Vettel said that they need to try and reduce their lead if they want to still be in with a chance of victory.
Nonetheless, with Vettel being 94 points behind defending Drivers’ Champion Lewis Hamilton, and the team 150 behind, Binotto said that the same regulations for next year would mean it would not benefit them to cease development of the current car.
In an interview with Motorsport.com, Binotto was asked how the team are going to manage to prioritise their development programmes for the rest of this year, next, and also the new regulations which will come into effect in 2021.
“That’s a difficult task. First, I think that whatever we can do in the current season will be to the benefit of the next one, so I don’t think we should stop at any stage the development on the current season, because again, I think [it] can be passed over [to 2020],” said Binotto.
He continued: “But we need to organise ourselves for 2021, no doubt. We’ve got now some responsible [people] in the technical department, and together with them we need to carefully take our decisions relative to the priorities.”
The team’s main priority for the current car is to increase the level of downforce which they are running, the last race at the Hungaroring demonstrating they had improvements to make compared to their rivals Mercedes and Red Bull Racing.
In contrast, however, Binotto said the team wanted to carry over their lower-drag setup to the 2020-spec car.
“Hopefully what we can do is to have more downforce at a similar level of efficiency. I think that should be the two objectives,” he said.
“I think the direction of development is that more downforce is acquired, and I will not at least put in that equation the efficiency. I think we should simply put more downforce and be as efficient as we can.”