Team principal Mattia Binotto has revealed Ferrari have halved their deficit to the front of the grid from last year as they continue to bounce back from a torrid 2020.
Ferrari finished sixth in the Constructors' Championship last season, their worst campaign in Formula 1 since 1980. This year has been a lot different with Charles Leclerc taking two surprise pole positions at the Monaco and Azerbaijan Grand Prix. Binotto has outlined some of the numbers which shows Ferrari's vast improvement.
"Last year, if we take the average of the entire season, we were 1.4 seconds of the pole [position]," Binotto told RacingNews365.com and other select members of the press. And today we are 0.7 seconds.
"So 0.7 is still a distance. It's not negligible, we are fully aware of it. But here I think we have the gap to the best. We have the gap to the best, showing that somehow it's encouraging because the direction is the right one."
Pit stops in 2021 have felt more important important than ever throughout the field. Binotto admits Ferrari were down in this department 12 months ago but says the team are now consistently executing pit stops in under three seconds.
"Often we say I think it's not only about pure performance, our objectives try to improve in all the areas in 2021," explained Binotto.
"In the pit stop, for example, I always consider that a good pit stop is below three seconds when we go to green, so as well, the driver leaving the pit lane. It may seem a high number, three [seconds].
"But I always say that in our strategy, it's important to be consistent, not only fast because what destroys a race is sometimes you got a problem and your stop may last 4.5, five seconds or six. That type of situation will be very difficult.
"We've been below three seconds in 2021 so far 84 percent [of the time], last year 48 percent. So here again showing that in terms of team, pit crew, mechanics with our pit stops, we are have certainly improved out pit stop time and pit stop quality.
"Looking at the below this three second pit stop time, we were eighth in terms of classification so there were seven teams doing better than us.
"Today we are second, so there is only one team that has done better than us compared. So that are the numbers which shows that as a team, as a car, overall there are certainly improvements in 2021 and the direction is encouraging."