Italian GP: Ferrari won't bridge gap - Mattia Binotto

Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto says they 'working to address' the performance gap to Mercedes and Red Bull on tracks where downforce is key
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Ferrari admit they will not be able to improve their car sufficiently this season to compete with Mercedes on all but the fastest of circuits.

Charles Leclerc took Ferrari's first win of the year in Belgium last weekend at the high-speed Spa-Francorchamps.

But team boss Mattia Binotto said on Friday that the car's fundamental weaknesses would remain all year.

Binotto admitted the performance gap between Mercedes and Ferrari was "too big" to close this season.

"Whenever we may go to circuits where there are a lot of corners and where grip-limited is important or maximum downforce will be required to be fast, we are certainly showing our main weakness," Binotto said.

"Can we address that by the end of this season? I don't think so because the gap is too big in that area.

"Can we improve the situation? Certainly we are working to address it."

Ferrari are expected to be strong at their home race again this weekend, after Charles Leclerc set the pace in both practice sessions at Monza on Friday.

But the historic track north of Milan shares characteristics with Belgium's Spa and all the other circuits where they have been competitive this year - Bahrain, Azerbaijan and Canada.

All are what are known in F1 as "power-sensitive" tracks - in other words, engine performance defines competitiveness to a greater degree than at other circuits.

To put it another way, the more corners a circuit has, or the less time a car spends on full throttle, the slower Ferrari are in relation to main competitors Mercedes and Red Bull.

This means that after Italy this weekend, Ferrari will almost certainly struggle at the majority of races remaining this season.

Binotto said he hoped the team could address the problem for next season, when the F1 rules remain fundamentally unchanged.

He said: "Are we putting too much effort into this season or should we concentrate on next year? We are trying to address the issue.

"Being that the regulations are now stable from now to next year, we believe that whatever we may do this season will be useful for the next one. So yes, there is a gap, it will remain; hopefully we may close it."

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