Binotto grades Ferrari's pre-season at 'six' after showing 'real performance'

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Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto has graded his team's winter at "six" out of 10 as he insists they are not sandbagging.

On the final day of running, Charles Leclerc did offer some encouragement with a best time of 1m16.360s, to finish just within two-tenths of Valtteri Bottas' fastest time for the week in Barcelona.

However, just like after the first week, Binotto's assessment of the SF1000 is that it genuinely continues to lag behind the pace of their main rivals.

“In the morning we did qualifying simulation and in the afternoon a race simulation,” he commented to the media.

“We bring home more data that will be useful to us. We are ready as a team but we are not at the level to win a race right now.

“We are better on race pace than on qualifying performance. Yesterday [Thursday] the track was slower than today [Friday]. Sebastian [Vettel] wasn’t particularly happy with the balance, but today [Friday] I think things are going better.”

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Some though are trying to call Ferrari's bluff by pointing to their lack of top speed on the straights compared to their customer teams.

“But it is difficult to say if we’re slow because of the engine power or because of the drag," Binotto claimed. "We are not hiding, this is the real performance of our car.

“I can confirm that I am not as optimistic as I was last year and our car is not the fastest. Having said that, the car seems to be reliable and the season is long.”

The atmosphere at the Scuderia is the complete opposite of 12 months ago, when Ferrari headed to Australia expecting to lead.


But regardless of what happens there, Binotto doesn't expect a full picture to emerge for a while.

“It is difficult to understand what happens in testing and Melbourne is also a practical track. You’ll need two or three races,” he added.

“If I have to give a grade for testing, we understood many things then I would say eight, but if I have to evaluate the whole winter I give it a six.”