Ferrari principal Mattia Binotto was thrilled by the fact that the team’s improvements in 2019, exceeded expectations. After displaying superior pace in pre-season testing, Ferrari were the surefire favourites in 2019. However, all that was suddenly and inexplicably negated, after Mercedes won the first eight races. As a result, Scuderia Ferrari were well adrift in the title picture.

Then, they switched Plan B, which was doing away with the low-drag approach and find more downforce. Once they opted against a new floor after the French GP, Binotto admitted that the results have been “over our expectations”.

“It is showing eventually how some more downforce may help or not help the overall performance of the car,” Binotto said to Motorsport.com.

“The level of sensitivity to downforce on this type of tyre is very high, and therefore I think even if you’re improving slightly you’re getting more than what you may expect.

“It’s also probably due to confidence, the drivers can feel better grip they will further improve their own performance.”

“It’s the sum of things which is helping. At Singapore we brought our [new aero] package, it was not the only one, but it certainly was a significant one. If we look at the lap time gain we had at the next races, it’s slightly over our expectations.”

Ferrari
Mattia Binotto

In spite of a surge in form, Charles Leclerc winning back-to-back races in Belgium and Italy, and Sebastian Vettel winning in Singapore, Mercedes wrestled back control.

However, despite the hiccup, Binotto is please by the team’s progress and straight-line speed advantage.

“We have improved our car in the cornering, we have reduced the gap to the top competitors in cornering,” he said. “So we are a lot closer now.

“We still have our advantage on the straight lines, so overall the package has improved and certainly in quali now we are often faster. In the race, we are certainly competitive.”