The Cavallino manager comments on the season, which has reached the halfway point: “So far it has been enough but in 2022 … Who will win the title? If I had to bet I would say Hamilton, but I am cheering Verstappen to break the status quo”
It was a golden summer for Italian sport, with the triumph in the European football championship, the rain of medals at the Olympics and Berrettini’s final at Wimbledon. It would take a Ferrari to win the F1 World Championship to complete the national Renaissance. But the red is engaged in a difficult climb, after the flop of 2020, and at mid-season she is third among the manufacturers, with the pole in Monte Carlo and the near triumph at Silverstone as her best performances. Team principal Mattia Binotto goes on vacation (“In the mountains where I can disconnect”). “We are happy, like everyone, for these results. We celebrated them with stickers on the car and messages on social media, making a great cheer. We are also kicking. We want to continue to feed the legend of the Prancing Horse with victories and titles”.
Where should we progress?
“Chassis, aerodynamics, engine, strategy, integration between drivers and team. We need to push on every aspect. The goal is to go back to winning races in 2022. Last year we were 1” 4 off pole, today 7 tenths. The road is right, in F1 there are no miracles, we have to keep working. Let’s take the pit stops: we made 84% of tire changes under 3 “, compared to 48% a year ago. We were 8th team and now we are second (behind Red Bull, ed). There are encouraging signs “.
What if expectations are not met in 2022?
“It would mean having something wrong. And therefore it would be necessary to identify what skills we lack to take the decisive step. I am convinced that organizational stability is fundamental. There has been no team that has not won and opened a cycle after a period of consolidation. it can change, but starting from a group and enriching it with external resources where they are needed “.
Are you aiming for a business like Jacobs?
“Well, he’s a sprinter. We run 23-race championships in which consistency is more important than success in a single occasion. A pole in Monte Carlo is not enough to win the World Championship.”
Is pressure a privilege or a poison?
“In Italy there will always be pressure on Ferrari. I feel it in a positive way, it is an incentive to do more and more. I was lucky enough to work with great leaders like Todt and Brawn. Compared to the first year as team principal, I have delegated a lot from a technical point of view and I have more time for drivers, politics and relations with FIA and F1. I have learned that it is difficult to trust people in this environment. ”
A vote for Ferrari in 2021?
“2020 was bad, the worst since 1980, with a really slow car on the straight. So far, however, the vote must be considered sufficient. The regulation imposed many limitations, we had to keep the chassis and front suspension the same as last year, and the number of hours for aerodynamic development was also limited. We did a good job, collecting more than double the points after 11 races “.
Goals for 2021?
“We are the third force, on a par with McLaren, beyond it is not legitimate to hope. In Belgium, after the break, it will be difficult. We pay 60% of the delay from the best because of the engine and in Spa the power counts. an evolution of the power unit, not in Monza. The regulation allowed to homologate a new engine at the beginning of the season, while we only changed some parts. Therefore we can introduce some changes that will help us significantly and will serve as a prefiguration of the 2022 power unit “.
How do you rate the pilots?
I am convinced that with Leclerc and Sainz we have the best duo in F1. They are talented, fast and young, a guarantee for the future. We know Charles, he grew up in our nursery, we have no doubts about his abilities. Without the accidents in qualifying in Monte Carlo and at the start of Hungary, in which he was also unlucky, he would have an extra victory and second place. He is growing in the vision of racing and in tire management. It has great potential. Carlos didn’t surprise me. Before taking him, we analyzed his characteristics: he is concrete, he brings points to the team and he is lucid in communicating with the engineers. He is integrating and understanding the machine better and better. In the second half of the season, I expect him to put together a perfect weekend, without errors in qualifying, at the start or in the race. The way they are working together, with personality, gives me hope for the future. ”
New pilots on the horizon?
“This year has been more difficult for the Ferrari Driver Academy, but we have to give the kids time to grow. Mick Schumacher’s first season serves as learning, without pressure, and we are discussing with Haas to confirm it there. Giovinazzi remains the our reserve driver, the first alternative to the owners. He is showing growth every year and I hope he can stay at Alfa, he deserves it. ”
At what point is the Ferrari 2022?
“Chassis, suspension and gearbox have already been defined, now we will move on to the drawings and production, to have the complete car by the end of the year and take it to the test benches. For us this project was a priority. We tested all the aerodynamic solutions possible in the gallery. of the wind to be sure of our choices. The other important element will be the new power unit. We are working a lot on it, even with the limitation of the hours allowed at the bench “.
How is the regulation?
“There is less freedom than in the past, so we will see cars that are very similar in shape and within a couple of years I expect a big convergence between the teams. Mechanics, suspension, weight, center of gravity, cooling system, will all be more important elements to make the difference compared to today, as well as the power unit. The drivers can also be decisive. During 2022 we will have to reflect with the FIA and the other teams to understand whether we have exaggerated in this reduction of freedom or not, revising the regulations if necessary ” .
And the budget cap?
“We and the other top teams were used to spending a lot more. We had to adjust our processes, prioritizing the use of resources.”
Using the tires in all circumstances remains complicated. Will this be the case with the 18-inch Pirelli?
“After the Paul Ricard we wondered if the overheating of the front tires was linked to a conceptual defect in the car, set-up or handling. The reason is that the car was sliding in front. So we changed the balance trying to avoid understeer. The situation has improved. The models we use in the simulator are the key to everything. Being able to have a good correlation with the real behavior of the car on the track is crucial to understanding the tires and managing them. The challenge will be identical with the 18-inch tires. We will have to try to develop adequate simulation models. So we made ourselves available to Pirelli, doing more tests than everyone else, with the idea of gathering as much information as possible. ”
How long will the new simulator take?
“In the last year we have put a huge effort into this area. We were behind the competition, and we believe we will have an advantage. We hope to be able to use it at full speed by the end of the season.”
Hamilton or Verstappen?
“It’s an exciting challenge between two great drivers and I hope they fight to the end. If I had to bet, I’d bet on Lewis, because I think Mercedes will win in the end. But I’m rooting for Max. It would do the sport good to break the status quo. “.
10 August – 08:54
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