Scuderia Ferrari Team Principal Mattia Binotto confirmed that there will be no significant changes to the SF1000 when it makes its racing debut this weekend at the Austrian Grand Prix. However the team has made some serious changes to the direction they were taking the car’s development.
Ahead of the opening Grand Prix of the season, Binotto explained that following the official testing in Barcelona back in February, the car will see some aerodynamic changes, but not immediately, saying: “The truth is that the outcome of the tests led us to take a significant change of direction in terms of development, especially on the aerodynamic front.
First, we had to understand why we did not see the results we had expected on track and how much to recalibrate the whole programme as a result. It would have been counterproductive to continue in the direction we had planned, knowing that we would not have reached our goals. Therefore we decided to come up with a new programme that looked at the whole car, knowing that not all of it would be ready for the first race.”
Fans will not see any major changes to the Ferraris during the double-header at the Red Bull Ring, this weekend and next. They will have to wait until the third race of the season, the Hungarian Grand Prix, to see the updates in action.
“Our aim is to introduce the updates at the third race on 19 July at the Hungaroring,” said Binotto. “Apart from that, over and above the actual development of the car itself, these past few weeks we have worked a lot on analysing its behaviour, with simulation work and with the help of our drivers and I think that will prove its worth in Austria.”
Ferrari were accused of ‘sandbagging’ during the winter testing at the Circuit de Catalunya as they didn’t hit the pace expected of them in the sessions. They were half a second off the pace of the Mercedes F1 W11 EQ Performance on the straights and were falling into the clutches of Racing Point F1 Team RP20 instead of matching the times of the W11 and the Aston Martin Red Bull Racing RB16.
Despite not having the fastest package on the grid, Binotto believes the team will make the best of the race in Spielberg due to the unprecedented start to the season. Saying: “We know that, at the moment, we don’t have the fastest package. We knew it before heading for Melbourne and that hasn’t changed.
“In Austria, we must try and make the most of every opportunity and then in Hungary, with the new development step we are working on, we will be able to see where we are really compared to the others, while having to take into account the developments our competitors themselves will have brought along.”