With Ferrari’s hopes and dreams for this season yet again dimmed, ATRL’s Immy Cousins takes a look at Team Principal Mattia Binotto and the future for the 2022 Ferrari drivers.
Where does Mattia’s journey start?
It’s no secret that Mattia Binotto is engrained in the history of the Ferrari F1 team. Having joined the team in 1995 as a test team engine engineer, no other Team Principal has worked in F1 for as long or in as many roles as he.
Binotto rose through the ranks in the team, putting his excellent knowledge of the engines to use, being appointed to roles such as Head of Trackside Engine Department in 2004, Head of Power Unit Operations in 2007, Chief Technical Officer in 2016 and finally the Team Principal in 2019. He may not be the longest-running team principal in the paddock, but he knows the team from its engine outward.
Ferrari and their 2022 Battle:
It looked like Ferrari had taken the new regulations for this season well into their stride, finishing with consistent results in both rounds of pre-season testing. Heading into the first race of the season, Charles managed to clinch both the first pole of the season and the first win alongside Carlos improving his P3 qualifying result into a P2 finish. This was the team’s first race win since Sebastian Vettel’s victory in Singapore 2019.
So where has it all gone so badly wrong?
Many fans would refer to Ferrari’s 2020 season when they finished 6th in the Constructors championship, their worst finish since Mattia Binotto joined the team. However, the gravity of the situation is that despite still being 2nd in the constructors’ championship this season, between Leclerc and Sainz, they have had more DNFs so far this season than they did in 2020.
Interviews with Mattia this season have often referred to his history working with the team and questioning where he thinks it is going wrong for them. 5 of the 8 DNFs the team has had so far this season have been failures with the engine or hydraulics. With so many issues facing the Ferrari engine, ones that expand beyond just their team, one would think that the man leading the team with such expertise on engines himself would be able to produce answers to their failings.
Given the failings of the engine, Ferrari has exceeded the allowance of engine parts on both cars apart from Sainz’s Energy Store and Exhaust System in an attempt to recover from the mid-season collapse. Whilst Binotto plays no role in the actual build of the car itself anymore; he has the power to make the bold calls when most needed.
Binotto vs The Team:
Outside of the engine failures, there has been shambolic work during races. From poor strategy calls to chaotic pitstops bound by a seeming lack of organisation. Before the summer break, Binotto was asked whether he’d take the opportunity to make some restructuring calls within the team to fix their shortcomings, but the boss seemed to be of the impression that there wasn’t anything for him to fix.
For a man who has seen the same team through so many highs and lows for over 25 years, it seems confusing why he wouldn’t see the same problems that the fans have been seeing each weekend. However, there is the chance that he holds hope in his team and changing any part of that wouldn’t be the solution.
With 6 rounds left of the season, Charles is not completely out of the championship battle. Still, it would take the team’s most extraordinary redemption to secure him into the fight. Now would be the time for Binotto to sit down with his team and turn focus to the constructors’ championship to retain P2 in the constructors’ championship. If Ferrari has any cards left to play this season, Singapore is the time to show them.
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