If Ferrari fans were hoping for an end to their Formula 1 misery they should not expect it from their team in 2021, so says their ace driver Charles Leclerc and confirmed by sporting boss Laurent Mekies.
After a preseason test that left us with more questions and answers ahead of the Bahrain Grand Prix season opener on 28 March. A pecking order yet to reveal itself.
On the surface, Ferrari have nothing special ‘under the hood’ of the SF21 worth mentioning, but then who was playing their full hand during those three days of testing in the desert.
The truth will emerge when the chips are down in qualifying Q3 on Saturday at Sakhir, but it won’t be Ferrari according to Leclerc.
“We will try to improve compared to last year,” he told Gazzetta Motori. “But there will be no miracles. “We have to be realistic: even if I hope so, I don’t think we will fight for the 2021 World Championship.”
“It is still very early to talk about the performance of the SF21 “When I spoke about taking Ferrari to the top again, it was a medium to a long-term goal, I wasn’t referring directly to 2021.
“The technical regulations prevent us from doing what we want on the car. The SF21 is not a revolution but rather an evolution of the SF1000,” explained the Monegasque.
Which was confirmed by the Scuderia’s sporting boss Mekies in a separate interview: “The goal for 2021 is to demonstrate that, despite practically frozen regulation, Ferrari can climb the positions that matter and return. above, it would already be a lot.
“Beating the teams in the middle of the pack is a very ambitious goal that we set ourselves after a very complicated season.”
Ferrari did not win a race last year in what was one of their worst seasons in history, they last won an F1 world championship title in 2008 when Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen combined to win the constructors’ title; the Finn having won their last driver’s title in 2007.
“This year will be one of compromise between work on 2021 and that for 2022,” predicted Mekies. “Development work on the car will mainly focus on the first three to four races. Thereafter resources will be directed to the 2022 car. You will see that all cars, from mid-season onwards, will no longer have significant developments,”