Binotto: Ferrari not inclined to switch focus to 2020 car

ยฉFerrari

Ferrari's 2019 championship hopes have all but evaporated, but the Italian outfit isn't switching its entire focus to its 2020 contender, at least not yet.

From its status as outright favourite in Melbourne, warranted by its impressive performance in pre-season testing, the Scuderia's rating fell to inconsistent front-runner.

In Hungary however, follwoing Sebastian Vettel's very distant third-place finish, Ferrari was a mere 'also ran', burdened by the predictable weakness of its SF90 around the tight and sinuous Hungaroring.

The low-downforce design of Ferrari's SF90 - which has done wonders for the car's straight-line speed but proved a disaster at circuits where high downforce is required - has been at the center of the team's issues and its wide performance swings.

"I think what we should try to explain is not the minute [to Hamilton] in Hungary, but how it is possible that just a week ago [in Germany] we had the fastest car, and today we are somehow not the fastest," team boss Mattia Binotto said in Hungary.

"Here, as we often say, is very track dependent. We know that our car is somehow lacking maximum downforce and when you are somehow on a circuit like Budapest where maximum downforce is required, then we are certainly suffering.

"You are suffering even more in the race compared to the quali, because in the single lap of the quali the grip of the tyres is masking the lack of downforce it may have, but over a long distance you are sliding, overheating the tyres and things are certainly more complicated.

"Obviously there are circuits where we are not running to the maximum downforce configurations, so in that case it will be different," added Binotto.

"Certainly we are seeking more downforce already on this current season, and in the second half of the season we will put whatever max downforce we can on the car and the car next year will require even more.

"We know that our competitors as well are developing their cars for next year on more downforce, so we cannot consider the gap of today as the single target. It has to be more than that."

Despite Ferrari's painful shortfall, Binotto explains why he won't right off the 2019 season just yet and direct his engineers' attention to 2020.

"Should we concentrate [entirely] on next year's car? I don't think so," he said.

"Not only because having the same regulations next year, whatever we can do this year will be a good benefit for next year's car as well.

"There are still many races and, so far, no victory for Ferrari, so I think we have a goal and a target and I think we should do whatever we can to finish this season to do our best."

After the summer break, F1 will resume its activities at Spa and then at Monza, two power circuits theoretically favourable to the SF90.

"Should we concentrate [entirely] on next year's car? I don't think so," said the Swiss.

"Not only because having the same regulations next year, whatever we can do this year will be a good benefit for next year's car as well.

"There are still many races and, so far, no victory for Ferrari, so I think we have a goal and a target and I think we should do whatever we can to finish this season to do our best."

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