Mercedes think Ferrari can gain another second, Binotto says no

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

The guessing game over Ferrari's true performance continues, with Mercedes boss Toto Wolff believing they have another second in hand.

On Thursday, Sebastian Vettel offered the first hint at the potential of the SF1000 posting a 1m16.8s on the C5 tyres. Teammate Charles Leclerc then went another half a second faster in better conditions on Friday, finishing less than two tenths off the pace set by Valtteri Bottas.

Throughout testing, there has been this sense that Ferrari was not running anywhere close to the limit with their car and Wolff says one stat proves this is the case.

“You can see what Ferrari is doing compared to Alfa Romeo or Haas [on the straights],” he said. “Ferrari’s top speed is far from what it currently shows, they can probably gain another second.

“The most important thing is to try and guess where everyone is. We don’t know the fuel loads either so you can’t tell a lot from lap times.”

Also Read:

For a week now, however, team boss Mattia Binotto has insisted the Scuderia is trailing behind their top three rivals.

And responding to his Mercedes counterpart, he insisted: “This seems very much what we are doing but it’s not correct.

“I think we’re really focused on ourselves, understanding the car, correlating the data with what we have back home.

“The first week of testing last week was focusing on that one, car understanding mapping.

“This week will be a bit different, today starting work on set-up, trying to optimise it and we will try to push more for performance later this week to see what we have.”

The change in approach comes after Ferrari dominated testing in 2019 only to struggle when the racing began in Australia.

“In the end, we always want to try and improve ourselves," Binotto continued.

"We did some mistakes last year and the way we approached it, especially from reliability tests and or for functionality and understanding of the car.

“We are still a young team and it’s important for us that we are improving. And that means learning from the past and adapting better.

“But it is not to play any games or whatever.”