Ferrari's Mattia Binotto is not convinced that Ferrari now has the third-fastest car on the grid despite the team taking its second podium of the season courtesy of Charles Leclerc at last weekend's British Grand Prix.
Leclerc took his second podium in four races after a tyre failure for Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas in the closing laps of the race, while teammate Sebastian Vettel ended a disappointing weekend in tenth.
However, Binotto was unsure that the team's seemingly improved pace was an indication of the improvements made with the recently introduced upgrades, believing that the SF1000 is still relatively close in performance to the other midfield teams.
"Certainly we are behind Mercedes and Red Bull. I think we are very close to the others," Binotto told Autosport after the race.
"Here [at Silverstone] we brought a low downforce package which was worth a couple of tenths in optimising our package. But I think it's pretty close.
"There will be races where we are closer and others where we eventually stay ahead. So it is our task, our duty, to develop the car."
Binotto also touched on the issues which plagued Vettel throughout the weekend, with an intercooler issue leaving the German out of the running during the weekend's first practice session.
Vettel then struggled to get comfortable with the car for the remaining practice sessions, leaving him on the backfoot for qualifying and the race.
A point was all he could salvage from a poor weekend, barely holding off a recovering Bottas for tenth position on the final lap of Sunday's race.
"I think certainly with Charles we optimised the package and we extracted most of the potential from the car, and a great race, so pretty happy in that respect," Binotto added.
"I think we generally worked well through the weekend, on the circuit, on the aero package, and on the tyre management.
"We cannot be happy with the problems we have on Friday, which are reliability problems and installation problems, which simply did not help the situation of Sebastian. So the weekend has not been a perfect weekend on our side.
"That's leaving aside the overall performance of the car, which at the moment is not great enough. So the weekend has not been overall perfect. While there have been great things there have also been negative ones as well."
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing
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