Mercedes’ was lauded for its turnaround performance in Spain, but Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto insists the Brackley squad’s car is still far behind its frontrunning rivals.
Mercedes significantly benefitted from its upgrade package in Barcelona, with the raft of changes finally succeeding in dialing out most of the chronic porpoising issues that have impacted its W13 silver arrow since the beginning of the season.
George Russell and Lewis Hamilton qualified respectively fourth and sixth at the Circuit de Catalunya while the former finished P4 on race day while his teammate charged through the field to finish a remarkable sixth after a puncture on the opening lap had dropped him to last.
While Binotto commended Mercedes on its step forward in Spain, the Scuderia boss insisted on putting his rival’s performance into perspective.
“I think congrats first to them, because they recovered and improved the speed of their car,” Binotto told Sky F1.
“They were seven tenths off the pace in the quali lap, which is still a short circuit. [In the race] they finished 30 seconds or more from the Red Bull, and it could have been maybe 40 seconds to Charles [Leclerc].
“Forty seconds, 66 laps, is still six, seven tenths per lap. Six tenths, seven tenths a lap is still significant. It’s like Ferrari last year.”
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In the Red Bull camp, Christian Horner was perhaps more impressed by Mercedes’ sudden turnaround, suggesting that it would be foolish to write off the German outfit within the context of a championship that still ha along way to go.
“I think it shows how quickly things can swing,” said the Red Bull chief.
“I think after Australia we came home 40 points behind, and we lead by six going into Monaco a couple of races later. So it just shows in Formula 1, how quickly things can swing and change.
“That’s why I wouldn’t write off Mercedes with the amount of points still available. We know Ferrari has a very quick car. So you know, things can turn around very quickly.”
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