Second best 'not good enough for Ferrari', admits Mattia Binotto
Team chief Binotto "looking ahead to a very intense winter to keep building as a group" as Ferrari bid to go again for glory next season
By James Galloway
Last Updated: 27/11/19 6:59am
Ferrari are expecting a "very intense" winter heading towards 2020 when they will attempt to finally mount a sustained challenge to Mercedes.
Ahead of 2019's season finale in Abu Dhabi this weekend, the Scuderia are already guaranteed to finish second to Mercedes for the third consecutive season.
But, whereas in 2017 and 2018 they mounted a more sustained challenge to their rivals' F1 supremacy, this year an assault for a first world crown in 11 years did not materialise after a disappointing start to the campaign.
Mattia Binotto, completing his first year as team principal, has admitted: "Of course, finishing second will never be good enough for Ferrari and we are looking ahead to a very intense winter to keep building as a group.
"The aim is to come back stronger to be up to the challenges that await us."
Ferrari's strong form in winter testing ultimately proved misleading with Mercedes dominating the first half of the year while their Italian rivals squandered several winning opportunities.
The team returned from the summer break in stronger form - winning three times and claiming six successive pole positions - but have again not won in the last five events.
"There were highs and lows," accepted Binotto. "The first part of the season did not go the way we wanted, but I certainly value the way we all stood together, rolled up our sleeves and fought back.
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"Particularly noteworthy was the way we reacted after the summer break, with three race wins in a row and a run of six consecutive pole positions, as well as our win in Monza, just days after the incredible celebration of the 90 years of the Scuderia, in Milan, in front of a huge crowd."
The last race of the 2019 F1 season takes place in Abu Dhabi this weekend, and will be exclusively live on Sky Sports F1.