Failing to score a single point for the first time this season, Mattia Binotto admits that Ferrari‘s tyre wear issues, particularly at the front, are nothing new.
Despite back-to-back poles for Charles Leclerc in Monaco and Baku, and a podium for teammate Carlos Sainz in the Principality, Ferrari was at pains to make clear that it didn’t expect the trend to continue at Paul Ricard.
However, surely nothing could have prepared the Italian team – and its beloved tifosi – for the nightmare that was the French Grand Prix, with its drivers finishing a distant 11th and 16th.
Or could it?
Team boss, Mattia Binotto admits that problems that arose the last time F1 went to the French circuit in 2019, still haven’t been resolved.
“We have not been able to get the tyres working as we should have done,” admitted the Italian, “our performance was really struggling with the tyres.
“I don’t think it’s reflective of the true pace of the car or the performance itself,” he continued, “but it’s something we need to learn and address, not in the immediate future but in the medium and long-term.”
“We knew this circuit would be difficult,” he sighed. “High-speed corners where you are putting a lot of energy into the tyres, hot conditions… if you are looking at two years ago again, we were really struggling here so I think that these are our car characteristics. It’s not a track that’s suiting us well.
“In the end it’s two years ago we had the problem. We should have addressed it, it’s not yet the case so it’s why looking at the future is important to use to learn the lessons, to sort it.
“For us it is more important to understand and to address it definitely for next year. The main worry for us is it will happen at more races, but not at all tracks. We need to prepare ourselves for this situation.”
Asked if the clampdown on tyre pressures might have played a part, he replied: “No, I can’t think they have any impact.
“If I look at the prescription, the pressures were raised only on the rear and we had the issue on the front with graining. Nothing in the preparation has changed for us. So the answer is pretty clear, no.”