After enduring its worst season in 40 years in 2020, Ferrari has enjoyed a respectable upturn in form, sitting comfortably in fourth place in the constructors’ championship after nine rounds.

It sits 19 points behind McLaren in the race for third, losing further ground after Lando Norris’ third podium of the season last time out at the Red Bull Ring.

Speaking after the Austrian Grand Prix, Binotto revealed that Ferrari hasn’t upgraded its car significantly since the season-opener in Bahrain and says the team’s progress is down to improvements in the operational aspect of it, as well as the spirit in the team.

“As first, you should be aware that the car itself is exactly the same as we had in Bahrain, very little changes, some of the focus has been more in trying to exploit the maximum potential of the car throughout the weekends and somehow really makes sure in terms of racing and driving in the weekend we are doing the right and proper job and that it’s set up, the way you you approach the weekend, tyre management, strategy as well and if I look at those areas, I would say from the very start of the year we have made progresses,” the Ferrari team boss said.

“It has only been I think two weekends where in terms of strategy we made improper choices, we have been dispassionate somehow yesterday in quali – we knew that it would be very difficult without having the soft to go in to Q3 but we stick to our plan and as well the way we executed in the race itself, it has been great management and strategy. 

“Now from here onward I think there is still room for improvement and that is where our focus is with the team and the drivers but so far I think we have made progress and the team is coming more together, not only in terms of spirit but the way we are acting and gaining through the weekends.”

After struggling for race pace at the Circuit Paul Ricard, Ferrari fared better on race day relative to qualifying at both races in Austria. 

While Binotto has acknowledged that Ferrari changed its approach for the Styria and Austria rounds, he thinks its change in fortunes is circuit-specific.

“I think it’s more down to track layout rather than a different approach,” Binotto added. Here we know that – let me say on paper that this is not the best circuit for our car, where you need some more speed on the straights which still we are lacking. 

“I think that our good grip limited performance has somehow given us a good race pace, but again I don’t think it’s down to a different approach. When coming here last week, we tried to focus on the race stints to make sure that we didn’t fall into the same situation as tyres front wear but I don’t think it’s simply the approach itself but more the circuits.”