Mattia Binotto: Singapore pace not all down to upgrade

Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto believes the team’s surprise 1-2 result at Formula 1’s Singapore Grand Prix cannot solely be attributed to the update package it brought.

Ferrari had been expected to struggle at the high-downforce Marina Bay Street Circuit, having lacked pace at previous tracks with similar characteristics.

But after a subdued Friday, as it ran its new updates, Ferrari emerged as a force on Saturday, with Charles Leclerc taking pole position, and Sebastian Vettel securing third.

In a race that was determined by pit stop strategy, Vettel moved to the front by using the undercut, while Leclerc followed him home in second, marking Ferrari’s first 1-2 in over two years.

“The aero upgrades have been a step forward, but that cannot explain all of what we have seen,” said Binotto.

“I think Singapore is still a very specific circuit, the drivers make the difference in their confidence, and the car balance has improved in the last races.

“The tyres as well, it was a different type of compounds compared to other races, and probably we made them work.”

Ferrari’s Singapore victory was its third in succession, marking the first time since 2008 that it has achieved such a feat.

It came after a win-less first half of 2019 in which it squandered several opportunities at some events, while being substantially out of contention at other grands prix.

“If I look at the first half of the season, there were races where we could have won and we were performing well, so there is no reason why we cannot do it at the following races,” said Binotto.

“On top of that, the car has improved, so eventually there are more races. I’m pretty sure that our competitors will be strong at some circuits.”