Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto has repeated his faith in the team turning around its fortunes in 2019 and believes the recent key personnel overhaul means it is still “in the learning phase”.

Binotto was promoted to team principal alongside his chief technical role at Ferrari over the winter after Maurizio Arrivabene was axed following failure on not beating Mercedes and capturing a long-awaited Formula 1 world title after over a decade without success.

While Ferrari also brought in Charles Leclerc at the expense of experienced hand Kimi Raikkonen for this year, a number of changes to the Italian squad’s setup were completed before the start of the 2019 season.

Following its underwhelming opening five rounds to the campaign, having seen Mercedes secure five consecutive 1-2 finishes, Binotto has called for time to allow Ferrari to improve both in how it operates and the perceived weaknesses in its 2019 car.

“I don’t think it is a disaster by the time that you are improving as a team and, as I often say, we are quite a young team in the learning phase and I think in terms of processes and methodologies there is still much to learn,” Binotto said after the Spanish Grand Prix.

“I am pretty happy that the team is improving. If it is a concept design problem [with its F1 car] then it depends what it is and then we can address it within the season.”

Binotto has conceded despite a raft of aerodynamic updates, plus an engine upgrade brought forward four weeks for the Spanish round, the same problems were limiting its pace from earlier this season and is uncertain on a clear timeframe for how long it will take to resolve its issues.

“The limitation we got was present already in the first races of the season,” he said. “They were there all weekend from Friday and they were straightforward and obvious.

“How long it will take is difficult to answer. I think what is more important is to know how to address them and then I’m sure we can do it quickly.

“We will never give up and I think our ultimate objective is to do better than Barcelona. Each circuit is different and in Monaco it is a different circuit. Our car has some strengths and certainly some weaknesses.”

Ferrari will be hopeful of key breakthroughs following the two-day in-season test held at Circuit de Catalunya immediately after the Spanish Grand Prix, with the Italian squad running two cars at the test – its own car and a Pirelli tyre testing car.



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