Mattia Binotto believes that Mercedes have been catching Ferrari in the latter stages of the 2022 season due to their continued development of the W13, in contrast to the Scuderia focusing more on 2023.
Throughout the campaign, Ferrari have posed the main challenge to Red Bull, though ultimately were unable to match the Milton Keynes-based squad; both the Drivers' and Constructors' Championships have already been sealed by Max Verstappen and his team.
While Ferrari have remained in P2, their position has been challenged in recent races by Mercedes.
After a strong showing in the United States, the Silver Arrows outperformed the Scuderia at the Mexican Grand Prix, with Lewis Hamilton and George Russell finishing ahead of Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc.
Binotto cites 2022 development as helping Mercedes
With their lead over third-placed Mercedes in the Constructors' standings having been reduced to 40 points, Ferrari boss Binotto acknowledges that their rivals are moving ever closer.
"Mercedes [are] coming back, as they have developed the car [more] than we did," Binotto told media, including RacingNews365.com.
"We know ourselves that we stopped quite early [with] the development of the car, focusing on 2023.
"So somehow, I'm not too concerned by the rate of development, because I know when we stopped developing [our own car]."
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Ferrari hope to return to competitiveness in last two races
Two races remain in the 2022 F1 season and Binotto is optimistic that Ferrari can display better performance than that of the Mexican Grand Prix weekend.
"Certainly, if I look at the last races, it has not always been great," the team boss explained.
"But in Singapore, I think we [were] very competitive. The one after which was Japan, in the wet. Yes, we were not as fast as Max, but it was not a drama, and certainly not in the [qualifying].
"In Austin, again, I think that in the qualy we were competitive, but not as much as we would have expected in the race.
"I think [in Mexico], it's [been] a lot worse. I don't think it's the same trend, because Singapore [was] competitive, Japan [was] not too bad, USA [had] good qualy.
"I'm hoping that at least that's not a trend, but it's a [one-off] weekend for us. The hope is first [to] try to analyse what's going on and what has been the the main issues here in Mexico.
"[Then we will] try to be back [to being] competitive for the last two races, including Sao Paulo.
"So the hope [is] certainly to be there and to fight for a better result."
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