Ferrari: We should have focused more on downforce

Valentin Khorounzhiy

The Italian outfit headed into the campaign as the favourite on the basis of a strong pre-season showing, but was powerless to prevent from racking up eight straight wins and establishing a sizeable points lead that has been maintained heading into the summer break.

While the SF90 has benefitted from superior straightline speed, its downforce deficiency has left exposed at circuits dominated by low and medium-speed corners.

Adding more downforce to the SF90 has long been a priority for Ferrari, and Binotto admits he will have placed a greater emphasis on it in hindsight, also because this will have helped the car work the 2019-spec Pirelli tyres.

Binotto told Ferrari’s current balance between downforce and drag was “not a question of philosophy” or car concept, and that extra horsepower from its engine was also a factor in its superior top speed.

However, he added: “As we said, certainly these tyres require more downforce just to heat them up, to make them work.

“So, yes, if I would come back one year ago, I would give more focus on the downforce compared to what we did, even to the disadvantage of some more drag. Can we call that a ‘concept’? Not too sure. I think it's an objective that has become more clear, certainly.”

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF90

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF90 Andrew Hone / LAT Images

Andrew Hone / LAT Images