Ferrari F1 boss Mattia Binotto admits that his team is still lagging behind the engine power of its rivals, but that he believes they can be at the top again next year, ahead of the freeze engine development that will be in effect until 2025.
Last year, Ferrari had the weakest power unit in Formula 1, which drastically affected the performance of their SF1000 car, but also the performance of their clients Alfa Romeo and Haas. This year, Ferrari has managed to close the gap with the best, but Binotto admits that they still do not have the strongest engine as in 2018 and 2019.
"We still lack some engine power even though we have made very good progress in both qualifying and the race," Binotto said ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix. “It can make us vulnerable in duels in a race. Also, we have significantly improved the aerodynamics, but we are not yet at the level of the best two teams [Mercedes and Red Bull].
Our hands were quite tied here for homologation, most of the areas were locked. " When asked in which area it is most difficult to make progress due to all the restrictions in the technical regulations, Binotto answered that it is an engine.
“The hardest part is with the engine. You need to find performance without compromising stability. These are two tasks at once. Engine development takes longer than car development. We reacted well in a short time. "
Although during the period of frozen engine development (2022-2025) the FIA may allow the weakest manufacturer to make some modifications so they could be better, Binotto believes the differences between the four manufacturers are so small that this will not happen.
“Today, the differences between engines are not big enough to require equalization,” he said. “There is good natural convergence within two tenths. It would not make sense to ask for equalization. But of course, our goal is not to be in the range of two-tenths.
We want to be the best. ” "We will need another great collective effort to take another step for 2022. We know we are not the best yet and we still have a chance to improve." Ferrari is currently battling McLaren for third place in the constructors ’standings, and the Woking team currently holds third place with an 11-point advantage over Ferrari.
"Third place is not our main goal," Binotto said. “It is more important to show that we can improve in all areas. Aerodynamics, chassis, engine, balance, tire changes. When I look at the first races, we were among the best at changing tires.
” “Only two teams performed tire changes faster than three seconds on average. We are one of them [the other is Red Bull]. ”