Mattia Binotto says keeping up with the competition and development will be a challenge for Ferrari, as Christian Horner adds on Red Bull’s side.

After the recent high for Ferrari in 2017 and 2018 F1 seasons, the team went through a low phase towards the end of the 2019 season and the subsequent year in 2020. It started to recover in 2021 and so far in 2022, it has looked to be a title contender.

But with the freshness of the new-age cars, the development phase is unknown to all. Even though they have started off well, Binotto feels maintaining the level will be a challenge especially with the budget cap in place which puts a strain on the bigger teams.

At the same time, Binotto notes that if they compare 2022 with 2017/2018, he thinks Ferrari are better prepared this time than they were then. “Keeping up the level through the season is a challenge not only for us but all the teams and it’s true as well that our competitors are very strong,” he said to written media.

“They have proven to be very strong and at Ferrari, the last opportunity was in 2017 and 2018. Then we lost a bit of ground through the year. I think since then, our car design we have improved our tools along with wind tunnel, methodologies, process and simulator. I think today we are much better prepared compared to the past and can do a proper job in the background.

“We need as well to add that compared to the time that today we have a budget cap which will influence some areas and is a key pointer or element and you know my concerns that we have the right policy and that because it can be a game changer, the fight for success,” summed up Binotto, who notes that there is not much difference now in terms of power unit performances as seen in the races so far.

“At first as we often said last year, we were at a disadvantage that we tried to catch up,” said Binotto. “If we looked at the data today, we are accepted a little more in line. Let me say in these two races and the analogies we have done so far, it seems that between manufacturers and power units of different manufacturers, the difference is very little when comparing and we are really reaching somehow a convergence, so the disadvantage for us last year it is not any more.”

On Red Bull side, Horner has similar view to Binotto with regards to the development race. Both the teams have the resources but the budget cap will play a role. He adds that the lessons from last year will be handy too when they were up against Mercedes.

“We’ve only got 21 races to go,” said Horner. “The first two races have been great racing between the two teams. And I think that it’s now going to be about development, about unlocking potential with these cars that are still very immature, we can see Ferrari are very, very quick.

“It’s going to be very busy period through the rest of the spring now to try and get performance to the cars and understand how the tyres are working and so on over these next few races. In terms of developments, I think we’ve learned some good lessons, what I’m particularly pleased with is we probably came onto the development this car later than our rivals.

“The whole team in Milton Keynes after the effort that went into 16B last year, the lateness of that championship, that compressed time for this car, they’ve worked incredibly hard. And this is just the kind of resolve that injects a whole bunch of energy into the factory,” summed up Horner.

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