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Binotto singles out Ferrari unity amidst improved atmosphere

Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto says that 2021 could still be difficult for the Scuderia, but did offer some hope by praising improvements with their engine.

Coming off the back of their worst season in Formula 1 since 1980, Ferrari are aiming to bounce back this season for the final year of the current regulations.

The Scuderia made it through their testing programme in Bahrain without any significant issues or loss of track time, but there's little evidence to yet show the team are capable of challenging for the championship. When asked how the team's morale is compared to this time 12 months ago, Binotto admits it's difficult when expectations aren't met.

"[It] is very difficult when you are not performing as you are expecting," he told RacingNews365.com and other members of the media. "It's very difficult because, as Scuderia Ferrari, your ambition, the objective is to be the best. But, even if the atmosphere was difficult last year, we've been very united and it would have been easy somehow to fall into a different situation.

"The team remains united and continuously tries to try to work and to improve. We are now at the start of a new season. You've got different cars, you've got new hope. So let me say the atmosphere is certainly better.

"The entire atmosphere at the moment is great, but we know it will be a long season; 23 races, it may be very difficult again. So I think we need to be prepared and be focused simply on our true objective, which is long term and then not forget it."

Ferrari's main issue in 2020 was their power unit, with Technical Directives in late 2019 hobbling the Scuderia's previously impressive straightline speed. Much of this disadvantage now seems to have been overturned with the brand new power unit.

"Obviously we know how the engine is running on the dyno when you fit it on the car," explained Binotto. "What you may have a look at on track is the speed and eventually the relative speed to the others.

"When we were here [Bahrain] last year, in the race and in quali, we were very slow here on the straights. We didn't enter into Q3 and we were very distant from pole. Now, if I look at the data, at least on the speed on the straights, the speed is right," explained Binotto. "It does not seem to be such a disadvantage as it was last year.

"We know it's not only power - it's the drag of the car as well, as we often said last year. Both of them contributed in improving our speed on the straights and today we feel it's not a disadvantage any more."


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