Mattia Binotto has played down the idea of Ferrari being favourites after the Barcelona F1 Testing where Mercedes and Red Bull complimented them.

While the times didn’t matter as much in Barcelona F1 Testing, on lap count, Ferrari topped the standings with 439 laps where Carlos Sainz led the way with 236 against his name. The mileage count for the Italian manufacturer was top notch with little reliability trouble.

Its customer teams Alfa Romeo and Haas did face issues, but the factory team surged on. Seeing the car at the track and the laps run, rivals from Mercedes, Red Bull and even McLaren complimented Ferrari for the work done in 2021 and the winter.

One of the reasons why Ferrari is being noted to have done a good job – even before the first race – is the windtunnel and CFD hours they got for finishing sixth in 2020. The new rule of descending order of hours allowed as per the finishing position has helped them.

The rule was made for midfield and lower budgeted teams, but after the disaster for Ferrari in 2020, they benefited from it nicely. Binotto, though, is not putting it down largely to that. He’s maintaining for Mercedes and Red Bull to be ahead still.

“I’m not so sure [that we have more resources] except the regulations where we are allowed more windtunnel time but if you look at the amounts it’s a couple of [windtunnel] sessions over the entire year, it’s maybe a tenth per lap if you are very good,” said Binotto in the press conference. “I think that’s the amount so then it’s all how you manage priorities, how good you are and efficiency in your activities so if you look at Mercedes and Red Bull how strong they were last year, no doubt they will be very strong [this year].

“I think the regulations are in place to help the ones that are less efficient and overall I think as Ferrari what was important was to put priority onto 2022 and we always said it was a good opportunity, and now we are on track trying to learn the car. I would benefit from that only [during] the next month that will tell us and not the next days.

“I think to see the full potential of these cars I’d say it will take at least 4 to 5 races because there is so much still to learn, to adapt and to address that even the first race will be a completely situation. At Bahrain [we’ll see] the heat, a completely different type of track, I’m pretty sure we can find a different balance between teams in terms of relative competitiveness, so let’s see if we are to benefit from that. I think we are not the strongest team. We are still the outsider and not the favourites,” summed up Binotto.

But the Italian acknowledged the consistent run from Ferrari in the test which only helps with confidence. “It’s always great to have good consistency when running because it gives time to learn the new cars, and when you are doing a lot of laps collecting data so, so far please that we have done so many laps so far, which is important for us,” Binotto continued.

“Overall on the pace I think it is really very early to judge what I can see is that we are all very close which was one of the objectives of the new regulations. I think it is quite impressive that we are so close straight from the start and if you look at the cars they are so different which I think no-one was expecting so much differences in design and shapes. Finally I think that’s great for F1 putting in a new challenge but again when you look at the lap times again there will be differences but not as huge as the difference in design,” summed up Binotto.

Here’s the F1 Barcelona Test stats

Here’s Mattia Binotto on if bouncing can be diminished