Favourites. That what Ferrari were as they headed to the F1 curtain-raiser in Australia after dominating pre-season testing. But in the end they didn’t make the podium, let alone trouble the top step. So was talk of a genuine title tilt premature? Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto doesn’t think so, as he reckons we’ve not seen the real potential of the SF90 yet…
Albert Park’s bumpy, low-grip temporary race circuit is a world away from the high-grip, high-speed Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya – and that’s perhaps one reason why Ferrari failed to transfer their impressive speed from testing to the opening race of the season.
Both Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc - who finished fourth and fifth respectively - spoke of failing to find the right balance at any point during the weekend, the SF90 simply lacking the grip it delivered in Barcelona as Ferrari chased set-up.
“Conditions here are certainly different to Barcelona,” said Binotto. “It’s more bumpy and quite a lot windier as well plus different temperature and weather conditions. So there are certainly external factors that may have influenced the performance of your car.
“We didn’t find the right window or the right balance on the car. It’s not fully understood yet. Something that we need to try and understand. One thing that we are certain of today and this weekend is that it is not the real potential of our car.
“We are pretty sure that the potential is certainly bigger, and we have not been able to exploit it through the weekend.”