Ferrari Team Principal Mattia Binotto says the marque still faces a “big gap” to Formula 1’s frontrunners and it has “a long way” to go in its recovery.
Ferrari showed signs of year-on-year improvement in Bahrain, with Charles Leclerc qualifying fourth and classifying sixth, while Carlos Sainz converted eighth on the grid at the chequered flag.
However Leclerc finished 59 seconds behind race winner Lewis Hamilton, with Sainz a further eight seconds back, equating to a deficit of over a second per lap.
“The way to the podium… I think it’s the gap that we are still missing to the top competitors, which in the race was still big, so it’s still a long way,” said Binotto.
“But it will depend as well track-to-track. We know that we will not work much on the development of that car because we are all focused on the 2022 in terms of design and development back at Maranello.
“I’m pretty sure it’s the same with the other cars and the other competitors.
“But still if we look at our race we’ve got feedback now from drivers, they’re starting to learn the car, we’re starting to know what the limitations of the car are and eventually we may address them or we may improve it.
“So I think the next three or four races will first indicate what is the true performance and potential of our car compared to the others, so we will wait for them before having a judgement.”
Leclerc conveyed encouragement at his ability to fight further up the field compared to in 2020.
“It’s a step from last year,” he said. “As we’ve seen I think last year we were definitely not fighting for the same positions we have been [in Bahrain].
“So there’s still a lot more work to come but we also have to acknowledge any time we do a big step forward and this year is the case. So it’s a great job from the team.”