Ferrari and Silverstone unlikely to be a good match, says Binotto
Does a first win of the 2019 Formula 1 season for Ferrari beckon at the British Grand Prix? Team Principal Mattia Binotto suggests otherwise, although drivers Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc will benefit from minor aerodynamic upgrades for the race.
“Silverstone is one of the toughest tracks of the season, providing a real test of a car’s set-up and balance,” said Binotto. “Tyres also come under a lot of strain here and the amount they wear plays a key role in how your race pans out.
“We do not expect Silverstone to suit our car particularly well, but at every race, we have seen that the balance of power can change, often unexpectedly.”
Binotto’s remarks regarding that unpredictable 'balance of power' come after Red Bull’s Max Verstappen took his first win of the season last time out at the Austrian Grand Prix, at Leclerc’s expense.
“For the British Grand Prix we are bringing a further small aerodynamic modification as we continue to push hard on the development of our car,” continued Binotto.
"The weekend will also be an opportunity to increase our understanding of the recent work we did, which has seen us close the gap to our competitors on specific types of track.”
But while their boss isn’t confident of a second Ferrari victory at Silverstone in two years, Leclerc and Vettel are relishing a return to the famous circuit.
There is one of the most epic corner sequences in Formula 1 on this circuit, with Maggots, Becketts and Chapel leading onto the Hangar Straight.
“Racing at Silverstone is something special for all the drivers because it’s such a cool track,” said 2018 winner Vettel. “There are a lot of fast sections. It is also very technical, especially in the first part of the track with the new corners.
“To be honest, I still prefer the old parts with the fast flowing turns. There is one of the most epic corner sequences in Formula 1 on this circuit, with Maggots, Becketts and Chapel leading onto the Hangar Straight. I think every driver enjoys that part and I certainly do.
“We won there last year and it is also the place where Ferrari took its first race win in Formula 1 a long way back, so there is plenty of history there for all of us at Ferrari.”
Team mate Leclerc agreed, adding: “The atmosphere at the Grand Prix is also fantastic and there are a lot of people supporting us, which is great. Being part of a race as iconic as this one is always something special and we will fight to make it a good one.”
With Ferrari’s latest aerodynamic tweaks and the evolving upgrades that were first implemented at the French Grand Prix, Leclerc will be hoping for a Formula 1 victory at Silverstone to add to his 2017 Formula 2 win here.
It remains to be seen whether Binotto is being coy about the Scuderia’s chances...