Scuderia Ferrari entered the summer break just 44 points clear of Red Bull in this year’s Constructor Standings, and while the latter have found their form as of late, the Italian outfit continues to struggle.
Despite the SF90’s superior straight line speed, its downforce deficiency was painfully obvious at circuits with multiple low-speed corners. Unfortunately, it’s too late to go back to the drawing board now, which means that a winless season for the Scuderia is not out of the question.
In a recent interview with Autosport, Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto came clean saying that he regrets not placing a greater emphasis on downforce during the SF90’s development stage.
“If I would go back one year ago, I would give more focus on the downforce compared to what we did, even to the disadvantage of some more drag,” said the Ferrari exec.
However, even after witnessing Mercedes‘ excellent form late in pre-season testing, Ferrari still expected the SF90 to be at least a match for the W10 Merc.
“We’ve been surprised by our poor performance at the start of the season, because maybe we were not thinking to be ahead, but at least as fast as them, and it was not the case in Australia,” recalls Binotto.
“It’s true as well that if you look at the first half of the season, it’s quite strange how in certain races some cars are performing well and others not – even maybe the cars which have been the fastest at the start of the season, in some tracks were certainly not the fastest. It’s really up and down, for all the cars.”
Looking ahead to Spa and Monza
If Ferrari is to claim at least one win during the 2019 Formula 1 season, their best chance will come at either Spa or Monza, two venues that should play to the strengths of the SF90.
“I think [Spa and Monza] are more power sensitive, so we should certainly be more [successful] there, but there is nothing that is given. I think our competitors are all very strong and we try to challenge ourselves,” concluded the team principal.