The Ferrari Formula 1 team have admitted that its run of pole positions and race victories of late are a result of the team brining forward planned upgrades for the 2020 Formula 1 season.
After Charles Leclerc marginally beat Lewis Hamilton at the Belgian and Italian races, the team introduced a brand new extensive upgrade for the Singapore Grand Prix, which saw the team easily bring home a 1-2 finish, despite critics suggesting Singapore’s Marina Bay Circuit would not suit the characteristics of the Ferrari car.
The Scuderia then went on to score another dominant pole at the Russian Grand Prix through Charles Leclerc and easily led a 1-2 during the opening stages of the race, until Sebastian Vettel faced power unit problems and the resulting virtual safety car allowed both Mercedes to jump Leclerc into the lead.
With the Formula 1 technical regulations remaining pretty much the same for next year, before radical changes for the 2020 season, Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto suggested that Ferrari have face-tracked some key upgrades to avoid Mercedes running away with this years title unchallenged.
“On the current car, the regulations being the same for next year it will certainly be of interest.” said Binotto.
“Whatever we are building on this season, in terms of understanding, will be key for next year as well.
“That’s why we are still focusing or putting effort on 2019, not only because we’re seeking victories but because we know that a good understanding of the overall car performance in this season will be to the benefit of next season.”
Despite uncertainty during the season on the development route Ferrari chose, Binotto remains certain that Ferrari will retain the same concept in 2020, as the team begin to overcome its shortcomings, and its relative pace over Mercedes in the previous races may back that decision.
“On the front wing, I think some are copying us at the moment, more than us the others,” he said.
“So I think that the next year’s car will be a development of the current one.
“To develop an efficient car is always important for fuel economy, for speed, and I don’t think it’s a completely wrong or bad concept.
“If you look back and count the missed opportunities and victories I don’t think we’re on the wrong side of the sum, of the balance.
“There have been other reasons why this season we’ve not performed as expected. It’s not only the car concept.
“By the time the weaknesses were addressed we can be quite competitive and I think the last races have shown it.”