Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto says a lack of maximum downforce is not the sole weakness of the team’s 2019 Formula 1 car.

The Scuderia is winless after the opening 12 rounds of the season and finds itself trailing chief rivals Mercedes in both championships.

Despite appearing to boast a significant straightline speed advantage compared to its rivals following significant power unit progress, Ferrari’s 2019 challenger has struggled at slow speed circuit configurations, an area Mercedes has excelled in following a change in approach to its car design philosophy over the winter.

In Hungary, Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc took third and fourth respectively, but ended up over a minute behind race-winner Lewis Hamilton at a circuit it had anticipated to struggle at. 

“We are lacking maximum downforce, and obviously there are circuits where we are not running to the maximum downforce configurations, so in that case it will be different,” Binotto explained after the Hungarian Grand Prix.

“Certainly we are seeking more downforce already on this current season. In the second half of the season we will try and put whatever max downforce we can put on the car and the car next year will require even more.

“We know that our competitors as well are developing their cars for next year on more downforce, so we cannot consider the gap [in Hungary] as the single target. It has to be more than that.

“I don’t think that our only weakness is the maximum downforce. I think it will be unfair as well for the people back at Maranello. I think certainly in circuits with maximum downforce we are lacking downforce.”

But Binotto insisted that Ferrari would not give up on this year’s title fight by shifting its development focus onto its 2020 car in a bid to steal a march on the likes of Mercedes and Red Bull.

“Should we concentrate on next year’s car? I don’t think so,” Binotto said when asked if Ferrari would consider moving its priority onto 2020.

“Not only, because having the same regulations next year whatever we can do this year will be a good benefit for next year’s car as well.

“There are still many races, no victory for Ferrari, so I think we have a goal and a target and I think we should do whatever we can to finish this season to do our best.”



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