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Mattia Binotto

Binotto predicts how Ferrari/Red Bull battle will develop

Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto reckons his team's close battle with Red Bull will come down to "fine details" as the season progresses.

Perez Sainz Saudi
Article
To news overview © Ferrari

Mattia Binotto believes that very fine details will determine the outcome of individual race results over the next few events of the Formula 1 World Championship.

The Ferrari boss spoke to the media after his driver, Charles Leclerc, was beaten to the finish line at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit following an intense 10-lap battle to the chequered flag after a Virtual Safety Car intervention.

Both Leclerc and Red Bull's Max Verstappen had been evenly-matched throughout the entire Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, with the gap between them never growing more than about two seconds.

With Leclerc pulling away through the more technical section of the track, Verstappen would catch back up along the straights due to a slightly lower downforce level.

Even once Verstappen managed to get ahead of the Ferrari, Leclerc was able to hang on and looked set to mount another attack as they crossed the finish line.

With the minor downforce difference seemingly making all the difference, Binotto reckons it's on such small margins that races will be decided.

"Matter of details" in deciding race outcome in Jeddah

Asked where he felt the characteristics of the Ferrari and Red Bull differed, and how the Scuderia intend to take their developing knowledge of their opponent into consideration for future races, Binotto said that his team had made their downforce choice based on analysis.

"We saw Max was on a slightly higher downforce level on Friday, and he reduced it," Binotto told media, including RacingNews365.com.

"We decided ourselves to stay on a higher level of downforce, because we believed that was important for tyre degradation.

"But, during the race, the tyre degradation was very little. I see that their choice merits some analysis from our side. But, overall, it's always a compromise.

"We have proved as well, because it has been a long race, that both choices can be a good choice. It was only a matter of details that decided the race at the end."

No Ferrari developments in the pipeline just yet

The F1-75 has remained largely unchanged since it rolled out at the start of the first pre-season test in Barcelona, unlike Red Bull's RB18.

The Milton Keynes-based outfit introduced a large update package for the final day of testing in Bahrain, which seemed to elevate their pace significantly.

But Ferrari are in no panic to respond with an upgrade package of their own just yet, with Binotto explaining that their calm approach is due to delaying spending as far into the season as possible in light of the budget cap.

For this year, the second since financial restrictions on teams were introduced, the limit is set at $140 million.

"It's not only a matter of when we'll be ready, but there's the matter of the budget cap and trying to make sure that we're not spending what we've got in the first races," he said.

"So we are not expecting developments or significant developments for the next race in Melbourne but, as soon as we can bring something, we will do it."

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