Ferrari F1 boss Mattia Binotto says the team is still missing a crucial ‘X factor’ that has prevented it from fully contending for the world championship with the likes of Red Bull and Mercedes.
Asked what he thought Ferrari was missing, Mattia Binotto said: “It’s the winning mentality that was in Schumacher’s era. It encouraged you to get better with each win.”
Ferrari now has a clearly ambitious and talented driver line-up in Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz. But Mattia Binotto, 52, clearly knows what he’s talking about.
Mattia Binotto joined Ferrari’s engine department 27 years ago, just before Michael Schumacher left Benetton. The partnership has resulted in five of Schumacher’s seven titles.
Of course, it wasn’t just Michael Schumacher’s credit, but he was at the center of an iconic management that included Jean Todt, Ross Brawn and car designer Rory Byrne.
Mattia Binotto himself was by the side of the track when Michael Schumacher scored his first Ferrari win at the 1996 F1 Spanish Grand Prix.
“It was also my first win,” said Mattia Binotto.
“When I heard the national anthem, I understood what it means to be a Ferrari.”
“From there we started winning championships in 1999 and 2000.”
Mattia Binotto took over as Ferrari F1 team principal from Maurizio Arrivabene at the beginning of January 2019. The team endured a terrible season in 2020, but managed to pull things off in 2021 and looked like title contenders this season.
Charles Leclerc won two of the first three races and took a 34-point lead over Max Verstappen in the championship. Since then, however, Leclerc has only won once, despite his numerous pole positions.
Carlos Sainz Jr. also took his first victory with the team at Silverstone, but all other victories went to Red Bull, while Max Verstappen maintained a 116-point lead in the title fight with six races to go. there is
And with Ferrari currently trailing Red Bull by 139 points in the Constructors’ Championship, a revived Mercedes is now in contention for second place in the standings.
“We had a very difficult season finishing sixth in the 2020 Constructors’ Championship,” confirmed Mattia Binotto.
“These were the years that marked us. We suffered pressure and criticism, and in a way they shaped us.
“But doing homework well is no longer enough.”
“We made a promise to be competitive again and we have kept that promise.”
“But my point is that there is still a step between having a performing car and driver and the ability to integrate the ability to make it happen in all situations.”