Binotto: “We need to understand why there is a gap”

Ferrari Team Principal, Mattia Binotto has said that his team needs to “understand why there is a gap” to the leaders after a disappointing qualifying for the Austrian Grand Prix.

The Maranello-based team knew they were on the back foot when arriving in Austria, after declaring that they had a correlation issue with their wind tunnel, and as such, they decided not to bring any updates to the car.

And while, new parts will arrive for the Hungarian Grand Prix in two weeks time, it has left Ferrari a long way behind its rivals for the opening race, with Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel qualifying seventh and 11th respectively.

Ferrari has not been anywhere near the pace of Mercedes and Red Bull all weekend and appears to be the fifth fastest team currently, behind Racing Point and McLaren, and Binotto acknowledges that the race will be tough for his team on Sunday.

Speaking after qualifying, Binotto said: “There’s no point denying that was a disappointing qualifying session.

“We knew the start of the season would be difficult for us and today’s result certainly confirmed that to be the case, even more so than we had expected.

“We have to analyse very carefully every aspect of our performance and compare it to the opposition, trying to understand why there is this gap.

“Now, we will prepare as well as possible for tomorrow’s race, which will be tough with plenty of unknown factors, more so than usual, it being the first of this strange season.

“We will carry out our tasks to the best of our ability, trying to get everything out of the package we have here. ”

It’s pointless to predict where we might finish and we must just try and score as many points as possible.”

Vettel added that he was unhappy with the balance of his SF1000, but hopes the advantage of a free tyre choice, due to starting the race from 11th, will give him a slight advantage tomorrow.

“I didn’t feel so confident with the car towards the end of the session, but the race is tomorrow and that’s the part of the weekend we look forward to the most.” commented the four-time world champion.

“So, we will see what we can learn from today to improve for tomorrow.

“Our car was not quick enough and the balance was not ideal. I think we were losing a bit on the straights with too much drag, but in some corners we are very competitive.

“For sure we would have liked to be faster, but P11 puts us in a good spot for the race, with a free tyre choice allowing us to do something different with the strategy, which could be important as it is meant to be much hotter tomorrow.

“It’s not ideal and I am not fully happy and we clearly did not have as much in hand as the others, but our race pace should be more competitive.”