Ferrari is "already evaluating new concepts" to improve the competitiveness of its 2019 Formula 1 car, according to team boss Mattia Binotto.

Despite being billed as the pre-season favourites, the Italian squad is yet to win a race this year and has struggled to get the most out of its complex SF90 package, particularly with regards to getting Pirelli's 2019 tyres into the optimimum performance window. 

But Binotto said Ferrari has made progress in understanding its current weaknesses during the post-Spanish Grand Prix tests.

"Last week’s testing in Barcelona and analyses carried out in Maranello confirmed just how much this year’s tyres, which are very different to those we had in 2018, require different mechanical and aerodynamic settings to work properly," Binotto said. 

"We are already working in Maranello on evaluating new concepts, as well as bringing some initial further updates here."

The Ferrari chief also paid tribute to Niki Lauda - who won two of his three world titles with Ferrari - after the Austrian passed away earlier this week at the age of 70. 

“The run up to this Monaco Grand Prix has been perturbed by our sadness at the news of Niki’s death," Binotto said. "His straightforward no nonsense approach will be missed in Formula 1 and it will seem strange for all of us not seeing him in the paddock.

"Niki was a standard bearer for Ferrari and for Formula 1 and he pushed through changes in motor racing that made it even more professional, being ahead of his time in terms of being a stickler for detail which is now very much a key element of our sport."

Vettel added: "Niki leaves a void that will be difficult to fill. "He was a genuine motor racing icon.

"Nevertheless, we are here to race. There’s no doubt that Monaco is the most iconic race of the season, driving uphill at first and then down through the city streets, before going through the very quick tunnel in the dark, coming out into the port section. It’s really unique.

"For the drivers and engineers, this bumpy track is a world away from the circuits we are used to and that makes it even more challenging. The cars need maximum aero downforce and a set-up that gives the driver the confidence needed to brush the walls to chase the fastest lap time.

"There’s no room for error in Monaco and with just seven corners and no real straight, overtaking is almost impossible. That’s why it’s vital to qualify well. The track is so short that, in free practice and qualifying, there’s always traffic. You just have to keep going to try and find a clean lap.”

This year's Monaco Grand Prix will mark Charles Leclerc's first home race for Ferrari. 

"It’s my first home GP as a Ferrari driver and it’s bound to be a special weekend," Leclerc explained. 

"I always told myself that one day, it would be great to be driving in this race. And yes, that did happen and the fact I’m taking part in a Ferrari this year means I can honestly talk about a dream come true."



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