Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Red Bull Ring, 2020

Ferrari “99% sure” they will struggle more than last year

2020 F1 season

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Ferrari are convinced they are heading into the 2020 F1 season on the back foot because their new car isn’t quick enough.

“I think it’s going to be a very challenging season for us,” said Charles Leclerc in an FIA press conference at the Red Bull Ring today. “It’s definitely not going to be easy.

“We still have this question mark and we still need to wait for qualifying to be absolutely sure of what we say, even though we are 99% sure that we will be struggling more than last year.”

Team principal Mattia Binotto confirmed earlier this week the team will bring a substantial update to its car for the third race of the season at the Hungaroring. The team’s ability to work on the problem was disrupted by the enforced closure of its factory due to the pandemic.

“After the testing I think we knew that we were not where we wanted to be, especially on the qualifying pace,” Leclerc explained.

“Then there’s been this whole situation with the coronavirus, everything was closed. And then once they reopen, we re-analysed the data with the small amount of time we had. And we decided to to make a step back, to try and analyse from where the issue is coming from first to then work on the issues.

“But first [we need] to know exactly from where it comes from and that’s where we are at the moment. We have tried a different route for Budapest but there was not enough time to bring it in.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 11 comments on “Ferrari “99% sure” they will struggle more than last year”

    1. Enjoy Australia 2021 you noobs

      1. Next article shoould be called “Sandbagging for dummies” so Merc fboys could get it.

        1. definitely not sandbagging. Austria should suit Ferrari and yet they came out with this message. they don’t have long before the freeze. racing point to beat ferrari

      2. 2022 rather, since the car will be basically the same as this year’s

    2. Did he just said there’s still a chance for Ferrari to win the championship?

      1. @ruliemaulana If Ferrari have proven anything over the years is that they’re consistently a contender for the championship, but rarely reach the top. They’re a perennial number 2 team, which is ironic given how they go racing.

    3. Makes a refreshing change to hear Ferrari straight up admit their deficiencies.

      Its less irritating to read than Mercedes’ annual “well, we don’t necessarily think we’ll be so strong this year” spiel.

    4. For couple of years now they have been saying that they can challenge Mercedes and Red Bull but they didn’t. I think they have some margin at least to Mercedes and why not to Red Bull also. Now they are saying that they have work to do. It could be fun to see Ferrari locking the front row. I think they are the 3rd fastest team and unfortunately they won’t win the championship this year. Miracles could still happen but let’s drive first and then see where everyone is.

      1. @qeki I won’t be surprised if Red Bull are ahead of Ferrari in Austria. Let’s see whether that turns out to be a long term trend. Not getting my hopes up for Ferrari’s 2020 season, or the 2021 season for that matter.

    5. On Sunday: Ferrari denies that the lack of form is due to power unit “agreement” with FIA.

      1. @jeanrien if the rumours around the current car are right, it sounds like there have been some fairly significant flaws during the design and development of the car (a lack of torsional stiffness in the gearbox casing causing problems with the rear suspension geometry warping out of alignment during cornering was one, though they do seem to have improved that now).

        There are also some indications that the upgrade package which is now being introduced in Hungary was originally meant to have been introduced for the Austrian GP, but had to be postponed – some have suggested so Ferrari can gather data on the current performance baseline, others that Ferrari have fallen behind with their development.

        For all the speculation over what impact the clarifications on the technical regulations last year might have had, it sounds like there are more problems at Ferrari than just those changes in engine regs.

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