Binotto: No big speed advantage for Ferrari on straights

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Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto gives little weight to Mercedes' claim that the Scuderia's car enjoys a significant straight-line speed advantage over its rivals.

In Bahrain and in China, GPS data collected by the Silver Arrows outfit's engineers underlined the velocity of Ferrari's SF90 on long straights relative to Mercedes' W10, while Red Bull's Christian Horner called Maranello's 2019 contender "ballistically fast".

However, despite rushing down Shanghai's back straight at high speed, neither Sebastian Vettel or Charles Leclerc could challenge their Mercedes counterparts over a full lap.

In Azerbaijan next week, Baku's long straight should offer another opportunity for Ferrari to showcase the quickness of its car, but Binotto doubts the SF90 will comfortably outrun its competitors.

"If you look at the speed of Mercedes [in China], I thought they were very strong as well," said the Scuderia boss.

"So maybe we should ask them how they are so good. I don’t think there is much on the straights between us and the others."

Binotto also underscored the importance of other performance factors coming into play around Baku's particular street circuit.

"Baku is a circuit where you have got a different aero configuration, certainly, so I think it’s not only power units, it will be aero configuration we may choose for there.

"It’s not only the straight in Baku, it’s a lot of corners. It’s a city circuit, very difficult in that respect. So let’s see.

"I think that the competition is very tough, and there are races where you are maybe in front a few hundred of tenths, and races where you are behind.

"More important is to keep up the development of the car, because it will be a very long race, 18 races to go."

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