Ferrari has relinquished its advantage in the power stakes in order to enhance reliability, according to its team boss, in parallel to its decision to chase greater downforce.
Ferrari held the fastest straight-line speed through 2019 but was often found lacking pace at venues with a greater reliance on overall downforce.
The manufacturer also struggled for reliability in comparison to some of its opponents.
Its grid positions in Austria and Germany were compromised by failures, Sebastian Vettel was forced out in Russia, while Charles Leclerc had to revert to an old spec engine after an issue in Austin.
Ferrari was down in the speed traps during pre-season testing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, often behind its customer outfits, while pointing to increased levels of downforce on the SF1000 compared to the SF90.
“I think in terms of overall performance on the power and the engine we are not as strong as we were last year,” said team boss Mattia Binotto, speaking before the revelation that Ferrari and the FIA had reached a settlement over its power unit, which prompted seven rivals to issue a stern response.
“We focused somehow on reliability and somehow compromising eventually the performance.
“But the drag is significantly affecting the speed, but I think when looking for better speed you look both for the drive and power of the engine so we will work on both items in the future, no doubt.
“Drag is the one you may eventually address earlier compared to the power unit, [improving the] power unit you need to wait at least for the second unit.”
When it was suggested that Ferrari was masking its true potential, Binotto stressed: “We are not hiding. We are not hiding. That is our true performance.
“I think, again, it is difficult to split what’s drag, what’s power, certainly we are down on speed compared to other competitors.
“I think that is affected one way by the drag and the other certainly by the reliability programme.”