Team boss Mattia Binotto is expecting Ferrari to speed up again after the summer break despite playing a virtually anonymous role during the Hungarian Grand Prix.
An enthralling race for most of the grid (except them) in which they were comprehensively trounced by their rivals, make that Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.
“A week ago, we were the fastest car on the track,” Binotto told reporters after Hungary, referring to the previous German Grand Prix where Sebastian Vettel scythed through the field from the back.
But in Hungary, it was Mercedes and Red Bull with clearly superior pace, which was depressing news for many in the partisan Italian media.
“The Reds were never in the game,” La Gazzetta dello Sport declared.
Corriere dello Sport added: “An anonymous performance by Ferrari.”
And La Stampa declared: “Ferrari cannot keep up with the hellish pace of the two phenomena Hamilton and Verstappen.”
Binotto’s explanation is that a “weakness in downforce” and the heat in Budapest contributed to the poor pace last weekend, “I suspect that our performance is highly dependent on the circuit.
“When we get on a circuit like the Hungaroring, where you need maximum downforce, then we suffer but that is no excuse. Our best car finished a minute behind the winner because we’re not strong enough,” Binotto added.
And so the Italian said Ferrari will be working as hard as it can throughout the confines of the summer break and mandatory factory shutdown, “We will take a look at all the data again and then have a few days to recharge our batteries.”
Ferrari is now looking forward to the first races after the break, at high-speed Spa-Francorchamps and Monza, the former also the venue where Vettel last won for them a year ago.