Mattia Binotto has revealed one of the key reasons behind Ferrari's recent surge in top speed performance.
Despite losing out to Max Verstappen during Saturday's Sprint at the Austrian Grand Prix, Charles Leclerc voiced his confidence that the Scuderia had the pace to beat Red Bull in Sunday's main race.
This prediction turned out to be true, with Leclerc taking victory ahead of Verstappen. Carlos Sainz also looked to have good speed before being forced to retire with an engine failure on Lap 56 of 71.
How Ferrari have closed the gap to Red Bull
Binotto admits that Ferrari were struggling to match Red Bull's straight-line speed earlier in the season.
As such, the Italian team worked hard to resolve the issue, and Binotto credits their new rear wing as contributing to the gains they have made.
"We had a disadvantage compared to the Red Bull in terms of straight-line speed, especially in DRS [Drag Reduction System] zones, so in terms of the power of their DRS compared to ours," Binotto told media, including RacingNews365.com.
"We worked a lot on it, with a new rear wing we introduced, first only on one, which was on Charles' [car] in Canada, but we have had it on both cars since the UK.
"And with that new rear wing, we have simply reduced the gap. We have closed the gap in terms of speed. I think they have still got a slight advantage, but very little or invisible."
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Binotto praises drivers for performance in Austria
As well as crediting the step forward with changes to the car, Binotto has also hailed the performances of Leclerc and Sainz in contributing to their sucess in Austria.
"I think [in Austria], we have been faster not only because of the car, but because those two drivers did a fantastic weekend, in terms of car balance, car set-up, understanding the tyres, managing the tyres and driving on track," the team boss explained.
"I think drivers make the difference as [much as] the car."
Leclerc's victory at the Red Bull Ring has put him up to second in the World Championship standings, 38 points behind leader Verstappen.
Sainz sits in fourth on 133 points, while Ferrari have 303 points in the Constructors' Championship, giving Red Bull a 56-point advantage at the top.
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