Ferrari: Vettel, Leclerc had no chance in 2019

Mattia Binotto believes Ferrari had no chance of securing title glory in 2019, having made fundamental errors in its design of the SF90.

Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel finished third and fourth in the drivers’ championship respectively, with Ferrari ending the year 235 points adrift of Mercedes in the team standings.

The Scuderia did not have a race win to their name until the Belgian GP – after the summer break – having shown a weakness in maintaining pace through the corners across a variety of tracks.

Near misses or mistakes in Bahrain, Baku and Canada perhaps magnified the Scuderia’s efforts, but Binotto believes a frustrating 2019 campaign was close to inevitable.

“I think we lost this last year when designing that car,” Binotto said.

“Because at the end, we’ve not been competitive at the start of the season. And there are reasons for it. So at the end I think it is the car project that was not good enough to start with.

“Showing our development rate, generally speaking our design was not as good as our main competitor. So I think that’s it.”

Although Ferrari improved greatly in the second half of the season, helping Leclerc end 2019 with more poles than anybody else, Binotto is unsure if 2020 will bring improvement.

“We know where we’ve got at least some weaknesses, where we are weak compared to them, and are putting all our effort trying to address it,” he added.

“I don’t know what will be the situation at the start of next season. No one can know it right now.

“We know it’s a 22-race season next year. So what will be the picture at the start it still may be addressed later on.

“What’s important is that the team remains united, keeps being focused, working hard, working well, and has high motivation.”