Ferrari must be 'perfect' in Japanese GP fight - Mattia Binotto
Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto says his squad must be “perfect” in every area of its work at this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix if it is to maintain its recent form.
Ferrari has secured pole position at each event since Formula 1’s summer break courtesy of Charles Leclerc, and triumphed in Belgium, Italy and Singapore.
It ran 1-2 in Russia until Sebastian Vettel’s retirement prompted a Virtual Safety Car period that hindered Leclerc, with Lewis Hamilton going on to profit by taking victory.
Ferrari’s pure pace advantage has been most pronounced through full-throttle sections, having struggled in high downforce, but aerodynamic updates applied to the SF90 in recent grands prix have lifted the team’s prospects.
Ferrari has not won at Suzuka since 2004 – with rivals Mercedes unbeaten at the track in the hybrid era – and Binotto says the team needs to be faultless if it wants to continue its recent string of results.
“Our performance level was good in Sochi, which is how we managed to take our fourth straight pole position,” said Binotto.
“But we know that in order to be at the front in Japan, every aspect of our work must be perfect.
“That’s the way we are going to approach the race in Suzuka, trying to extract all the available performance from the car package.
“If we can do that, then we hope to be able to be as competitive as we have been in recent races.”
Leclerc added that Suzuka’s layout will act as another evaluation of Ferrari’s recent performance updates.
“The track itself is very technical and demanding,” he said.
“It is one of the best to drive on in terms of its layout. It features high speed straights mixed with various corner combinations and the hairpin, all of which make it the iconic circuit that it is.
“It has different characteristics to the last few tracks we have raced on, so we will see how our recent developments will work there, especially in terms of the aerodynamics.”