2020 development work credited for Ferrari resurgence

Charles Leclerc (MON) Ferrari SF90. 29.09.2019.
© XPB 

Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto has suggested that development work on next year's car has played a significant role in improving the performance of the SF90 since the summer break.

Despite a promising display in pre-season testing, the first half of the year proved a disappointment for the team for a variety of reasons. But Ferrari finally secured its first victory of the season in Belgium.

After that there were further back-to-back wins in Italy and Singapore, allowing them to make up ground in the constructors championship to Mercedes.

While the team was always viewed as having the upper hand at power circuits like Spa and Monza, the team is particularly pleased with the way that Singapore proved that a major new aerodynamic upgrade has increased downforce and boosted their competitiveness at tight and twisty street circuits as well.

"Maybe this is where the upgrades of next year have been transposed on the current car," Binotto suggested when asked by Motorsport.com whether the new package signalled Ferrari's technical direction for 2020.

"I think that the next year's car will be a development of the current one," he pointed out. "The regulations being the same for next year, it will certainly be of interest [on the current car].

"Whatever we are building on this season, in terms of understanding, will be key for next year as well," he added. "That's why we are still focusing or putting effort on 2019.

"Not only because we're seeking victories, but because we know that a good understanding of the overall car performance this season will be to the benefit of next season.

Mattia Binotto (ITA) Ferrari Team Principal.

Binotto felt that Ferrari's new approach to front wing design was the subject of much attention in the paddock, and predicted that many teams would be rolling out their own versions in the coming weeks and months.

"On the front wing, I think some are copying us at the moment, more than us [taking inspiration from] the others," he said.

Overall, Binotto insisted that he didn't regret the troubled first half of the season now that Ferrari had got things firmly back on track.

"If you look back and count the missed opportunities and victories I don't think we're on the wrong side of [things]," he said.

"There have been other reasons why this season we've not performed as expected, not only the car concept."

He added that he didn't feel that the original SF90 design had been a "completely wrong or bad concept" in its efforts to be both fuel- and aerodynamically-efficient, but at the cost of grip in the corners.

"By the time the weaknesses were addressed, we can be quite competitive," he stated. "I think the last races have shown it."

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