Ferrari: Third in 2021 difficult as rivals have F1 token advantage

Ferrari thinks its target of finishing at least third in the Formula 1 constructors' championship next year has been made harder by rivals getting an advantage through the token system

Ferrari: Third in 2021 difficult as rivals have F1 token advantage

Despite a difficult 2020 campaign, where Ferrari was hindered by a down-on-power engine and a too draggy car, it thinks it can make good gains in 2021.

Team principal Mattia Binotto sees no reason why the outfit cannot return to its historical position as a regular top three team.

"The team has been capable of finishing second in the past five years, except for one third," he said. "So I think that third is not fully impossible. I think that should be at least our minimum objective for next season."

However, Binotto is mindful that complexities of F1's 2021 token system could hand an advantage to competitors like Racing Point and AlphaTauri.

F1 has imposed a token system for next year whereby teams can choose where to spend development resources on.

Teams are limited to two tokens, but a quirk of the rules means outfits running customer gearboxes and suspension - like Racing Point and AlphaTauri - are able to upgrade those parts token free.

Rival teams did try to prevent that situation happening but they were not successful, and that has left Ferrari mindful of how it could hinder its own form.

"We've got limitations in our development for next year, which is the token system," said Binotto about Ferrari's prospects for 2021.

"With only two tokens to play, we somehow have to try to address or modify the weaknesses of this year.

"But there are teams which, at the moment, are not limited by tokens. They've got free tokens, Racing Point and AlphaTauri.

"So those teams will have an advantage, a competitive advantage [compared] to us and other teams, in terms of the development, that we need to be fully aware.

"Then, other teams [McLaren] will change engine manufacturers and may have an upgrade in terms of engine power, which again we need to be aware of.

"So again the competitors will be very strong next year. But, as I said, I believe that we've got here in Maranello, a strong team and I fully trust that we can do a better job compared to what we did today."

Despite feeling that Ferrari has the potential to finish top three next year, Binotto does not sense an opportunity to emerge as a Mercedes challenger just yet.

"I think we need to be realistic," he said. "The gap to the best team today is very big. I think obviously who won [this season] will be again very strong next year.

"During the season, I don't think they brought a lot of developments on track because they were certainly focused on 2021, so I'm expecting this team to be strong, very strong, again next year.

"I think there is no surprise. So to say that we can be back on track next year and to battle for the championship would be unrealistic."

shares
comments
How Toyota's grand plans for F1 domination fell flat
Previous article

How Toyota's grand plans for F1 domination fell flat

Next article

Steiner: Reserve driver Fittipaldi showed he can do good job in F1

Steiner: Reserve driver Fittipaldi showed he can do good job in F1
The 10 stories to watch out for across the rest of the 2022 F1 season Plus

The 10 stories to watch out for across the rest of the 2022 F1 season

It’s 13 down, nine to go as the Formula 1 teams pause for breath in the summer break. But what can we expect to happen over the next three months from Belgium to Abu Dhabi? Here's the key storylines to keep an eye out for the rest of the 2022 season

The inconvenient truth about F1’s ‘American driver’ dream Plus

The inconvenient truth about F1’s ‘American driver’ dream

OPINION: The Formula 1 grid's wait for a new American driver looks set to continue into 2023 as the few remaining places up for grabs - most notably at McLaren - look set to go elsewhere. This is despite the Woking outfit giving tests to IndyCar aces recently, showing that the Stateside single-seater series still has some way to go to being seen as a viable feeder option for F1

Formula 1
Aug 17, 2022
How a bad car creates the ultimate engineering challenge Plus

How a bad car creates the ultimate engineering challenge

While creating a car that is woefully off the pace is a nightmare scenario for any team, it inadvertently generates the test any engineering department would relish: to turn it into a winner. As Mercedes takes on that challenge in Formula 1 this season, McLaren’s former head of vehicle engineering reveals how the team pulled of the feat in 2009 with Lewis Hamilton

Formula 1
Aug 15, 2022
The under-fire F1 driver fighting for his future Plus

The under-fire F1 driver fighting for his future

Personable, articulate 
and devoid of the usual
 racing driver airs and graces,
 Nicholas Latifi is the last Formula 1 driver you’d expect to receive death threats, but such was the toxic legacy of his part in last year’s explosive season finale. And now, as ALEX KALINAUCKAS explains, he faces a battle to keep his place on the F1 grid…

Formula 1
Aug 13, 2022
The strange tyre travails faced by F1’s past heroes Plus

The strange tyre travails faced by F1’s past heroes

Modern grand prix drivers like to think the tyres they work with are unusually difficult and temperamental. But, says  MAURICE HAMILTON, their predecessors faced many of the same challenges – and some even stranger…

Formula 1
Aug 12, 2022
The returning fan car revolution that could suit F1 Plus

The returning fan car revolution that could suit F1

Gordon Murray's Brabham BT46B 'fan car' was Formula 1 engineering at perhaps its most outlandish. Now fan technology has been successfully utilised on the McMurtry Speirling at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, could it be adopted by grand prix racing once again?

Formula 1
Aug 11, 2022
Hamilton's first experience of turning silver into gold Plus

Hamilton's first experience of turning silver into gold

The seven-time Formula 1 world champion has been lumbered with a duff car before the 2022 Mercedes. Back in 2009, McLaren’s alchemists transformed the disastrous MP4-24 into a winning car with Lewis Hamilton at the wheel. And now it’s happening again at his current team, but can the rate of progress be matched this year?

Formula 1
Aug 11, 2022
Why few could blame Leclerc for following the example of Hamilton’s exit bombshell Plus

Why few could blame Leclerc for following the example of Hamilton’s exit bombshell

OPINION: Ferrari's numerous strategy blunders, as well as some of his own mistakes, have cost Charles Leclerc dearly in the 2022 Formula 1 title battle in the first half of the season. Though he is locked into a deal with Ferrari, few could blame Leclerc if he ultimately wanted to look elsewhere - just as Lewis Hamilton did with McLaren 10 years prior

Formula 1
Aug 9, 2022