Ferrari's SF21 was the fourth fastest car at the Bahrain GP behind Red Bull, Mercedes, and McLaren. It’s a result that makes the team boss feel relieved because we remember last year when Ferrari was sixth or even seventh in the race in some races.
Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz won some points for Ferrari in the first race of the season, winning sixth and eighth place. It is not a result that will be especially celebrated in Maranello, but after the poor 2020 when double entry into points was a real rarity, the show in Bahrain is definitely promising.
“I feel relieved, for sure, because we will be able to work in a better position, and that is healthy for the team. It is important that the team can work in a healthy environment, stay calm and positive, ”says Mattia Binotto.
"It was important for me. To come here and to see that the car has been upgraded so that the team gains some security that will allow us to work in an even better way." "It was important not only in terms of the engine but also the engine, chassis, drag, aerodynamics, tools, correlation… It was all-important to us and that was the key.
Expectations may have been a little higher after the qualifiers in which Leclerc won the fourth starting position. It was a great lap of a Monegasque driver, and he could possibly dream of a podium because the leaders got into some trouble.
However, Leclerc eventually stayed behind Norris in McLaren and Perez in the second Red Bull. "It's still a long way to the podium," said Binotto, adding: "The gap behind the best in the first race was big.
In the next three or four races, they will find out the real performance and potential of our car compared to the others, so we will have to wait for conclusions. ” Ferrari’s agony last year was mostly the result of that famous deal with the FIA over officially unconfirmed irregularities with the 2019 powertrain.
However, Binotto did not want to speculate on how much progress the new drive unit had made. “How much is the propulsion unit responsible for our progress? It's hard to say because it all depends on the rivals, it's not an absolute value and I can't know how much progress the others have made, but again, in the end, we have to judge the whole package, not divide it into segments.
" The next race will be for Ferrari at home, on the track in Imola from 16 to 18 April. Last year, Leclerc achieved a solid sixth place there, we will see in three weeks how much it can in this improved car.