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Ferrari has ‘no answer’ to form slump

Mat Coch

Tuesday 14th May, 2019 - 9:01am

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Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc

Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto has admitted the Scuderia currently has no answer to arrest the slump in form experienced by the Italian squad.

Frequently among the fastest in a speed trap, Ferrari entered the season brimming with confidence following a strong pre-season testing program.

It has subsequently failed to deliver at all five of the races that have opened the 2019 season with three third place finishes its best results.

Rivals Mercedes have achieved five consecutive one-two finishes to record the best start to a Formula 1 season by any team in the history of the championship.

For Spain last weekend, the squad debuted a number of updates for the car, but even they were unable to stem the tide.

“The updates we brought here, both on the aero front and on the engine, worked well and we are more than pleased with them but they proved to be insufficient,” Binotto explained.

“We have to analyse and think about what did not work, and when it comes to that, as of today I don’t think we have a precise answer.

“I think power wise and straight-line speed we are good enough, but certainly we have some weaknesses on the car that were highlighted this weekend.

“It is up to us to try to understand, to work, to assess and to improve in the future.”

Pressed further on the issue, the Italian engineer denied the SF90 lacks for downforce, but admits that it is giving up too much time in the corners.

“Right now we are losing a lot in each corner, not only in the last sector. In each single corner we are slow with quite a lot of understeer,” he admitted.

“That is not only downforce, we have seen something in the data which we need to analyse and understand so I think an early conclusion today would be a wrong conclusion.

“We need a fix on this, but we need a proper analysis and try to understand the matter of balance, the matter of downforce and maybe even tyre concepts.

“I think we do not have the answer and I would not like to go through it yet.”

Though it sits second in the constructors’ championship, Ferrari already lies 96 points behind leaders Mercedes.

Even at this early stage, should the Scuderia overhaul that deficit, it would mark the largest championship comeback in Formula 1 history.

Mercedes last year won the constructors’ crown by 84 points, while the largest ever margin of victory came in 2014, when Mercedes beat Red Bull by 296 points in the first year of the turbo-hybrid era.

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