It was a mixed weekend for Ferrari at Portimao. While their lead driver Charles Leclerc made full use of the new upgrades which saw him take home P4, Sebastian Vettel struggled for pace and could only bring his car home in P10.
That has been the general narrative for the better part of this season. The fact that Vettel’s relationship has strained with Ferrari over time, adds to the stagnancy in results.
But shortly after the race, Vettel spoke about how he feels that the data suggests that Leclerc’s car is faster. And so that could be the reason why he was way down in the midfield places during qualifying and the race.
However, Ferrari’s Team Principal, Mattia Binotto, has moved to dismiss any such differences between the two SF1000s. In addition, he stated outright that the team expect Vettel to do better in qualifying at Imola.
Binotto was quoted as saying, “The machines are absolutely identical, there is no doubt. I hope that Vettel can do a good qualifying at Imola, start further ahead and make more use of his indisputable driving ability.
“Leclerc is certainly very good. But more is expected from a second driver,” concluded Binotto. (translated from Google Translate)
It seems like a blame game has developed this season at Ferrari, with both parties seeking a swift resolution to the season before parting ways for good.
Much talk has surrounded the planned, and now executed, upgrades of Ferrari. Spending some time to build the same, the engineers at Maranello have made strides ahead of 2021.
“The race in Portugal was important because we made some changes that were in the direction of next year’s development. We expected some answers and they came.
“We believe that the path is the right one, we know which direction to go. At home they are all focused. , we are pushing as much as possible on the next year.” said Binotto. (translated from Google Translate)
Ferrari will, of course, replace Vettel with McLaren’s Carlos Sainz in the upcoming season. And while things are surely and steadily heading towards a positive direction, Ferrari will be cautiously optimistic for the future.