In Maranello they have smiled again. Nightmare of Ferrari just. Following the first two Grand Prix of the 2021 Formula 1 season, the Scuderia have confirmed their progress.
Yes, he is not there to fight the triumphs and he is still one step behind McLaren, but the sensations are good. There is some optimism, and relief, as it seems that the disappointment of 2020 is a thing of the past and Mattia Binotto, team boss, has been satisfied with the results.
Can the Italian team get into the fight for third place in the Constructors’ Championship? There are things to improve, but there are also indications that this year the team will once again be the protagonist and will relive the battles with its historic British rival.
Already last week, in Imola, Charles Leclerc stroked the podium, but the red flag, due to the clash between George Russell and Valtteri Bottas, changed the circumstances of the competition and ended their aspirations.
“We have a bitter taste because without the red flag we could have had a better result. The desire to win is a positive sign. I’m happy with the performance, it’s a good starting point, especially considering what happened last year. We still have weak points, but we know where to work, ”Binotto told Sky Sport Italia F1 after the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.
The news is good at Ferrari: its drivers, Leclerc and Carlos Sainz, have finished both GP’s in the Top 10; the car, in general, has progressed compared to last year and Ferrari is fourth in the Constructors’ Championship with 34 points, seven less than McLaren.
Leclerc is in fourth place in the drivers’ standings, with 20 points, just seven points behind Lando Norris (McLaren), while Sainz, who made his debut as a Scuderia driver this year, is sixth behind Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes ).
Ferrari will have to evolve its SF21, its engine performance to improve straight speed and aerodynamic package, if it is to be consistent in the points area and take advantage of any errors in Red Bull, Mercedes and McLaren. There is work to be done, but the Scuderia is on the right track.
“We are better than last season, but there is still a long way to go. In speed there is still a deficit compared to Lando Norris. He was very, very fast, like Red Bull and Mercedes, they are not within our reach.” , recognized the Monegasque after the first date of the season.
“I’m more optimistic now than last year, so when you look at the progress we’ve made, it’s not too bad. Now we have to keep working hard,” he added.
However, Mattia Binotto has already made it clear that Ferrari’s priority and resources are, since January, in the development of next year’s car. There will be updates, but not as many.
“I think the 2021 car is performing as expected, so it has a good correlation with our data (from wind tunnel and simulations), which is good. The team is already focused on next year and we still have some development on the 2021 car to come.
“Our goal for the season is to continue to show that we can progress. We can do it, but I’m already happy with what we have improved and the fact that we are in a close fight with McLaren for third place, “commented the Ferrari boss after the race at Imola.
The season is young, the Scuderia has progressed and the Tifosi are excited. We will have to wait if it reaches him to return to the podium and fight to lead the middle area of the starting grid.