There seems to be no silver lining in sight for Ferrari just yet. The Maranello-based outfit had a poor showing in winter testing and they were honest enough to admit it. (Read: “Not Playing Games” – Binotto Sheds Light on Ferrari F1’s Mediocre Winter Tests).
However, since then, things don’t seem to have improved for the Prancing Horse. Obviously, the coronavirus enforced lockdown hasn’t helped them, but Charles Leclerc thinks that the team is way off with where they would have expected to be with the car, come the season opener. It looks like the team and its fans will have a long and arduous season ahead.
Speaking to the media, at Friday’s big press conference, Leclerc was in no mood to play down his team’s chances. He said, “I think it’s going to be a very, very challenging season for us. It’s definitely not going to be easy.”
“We still have these question marks and we still have to wait for qualifying to be absolutely sure of what we say, even though we are 99% sure that we’ll be struggling more than last year. After the (pre-season) testing we, more or less – well, I think we knew that we were not where we wanted to be, especially on the qualifying pace.”
Ferrari will also be deprived of the upgrades they were planning to bring to Austria. (Read: “We Don’t Have the Fastest Package” Admits Mattia Binotto as Ferrari Scrap Original Development Plans). Regarding this, Leclerc said, “First you need to know where it (the issues with the car) comes from and that’s where we are at. We have tried a different route for (the Hungaroring) but there is not enough time to bring it here.”
All of this points to a very disappointing season in store for the Scuderia team. At least for the first two races in Austria, Ferrari would ideally be aiming for a 5th and 6th place finish, for both their drivers. They’d also hope that the upgrades that are scheduled to come in at Hungary, will provide them with a much-needed boost. However, even with those upgrades, the Tifosi would be advised to not get their hopes too high.