Mattia Binotto rallied around his Formula 1 team after the botch-up at the Hungarian GP, yet another instance of a failed strategy during the race, throwing yet more points away. Binotto claims that his team does not need to change, but never once mentioned himself. According to sources in Maranello, Binotto is on such thin ice, that he is likely to be booted from the team as team principal.
During the Hungarian GP, Binotto’s team chose a bizarre strategy that forced Charles Leclerc to pit for the worst performing hard tyres, a move that relegated the Monegasque Charles Leclerc to sixth place. From the dream of a one-two finish to reopen the championship, it went in an instant to having two cars off the podium with Carlos Sainz in fourth place. Max Verstappen won by recovering from tenth position.
One can certainly tell there is huge pressure on Binotto. The normally super cool Italian team boss unusually started claiming that the team would be guaranteed a one-two finish after qualifying. A sign that he is in dire trouble with the senior men at Maranello and something that completely baffled Red Bull Racing boss Christian Horner.
“Even if we had won the race before by one lap, I would never say that we would finish first and second in the next Grand Prix”. stated Horner.
Horner went on to pinpoint the key to the Hungarian race, Ferrari’s pit lane error:
“The key moment for us was when we saw Leclerc on hard tyres, we thought we really had a chance. We have a great team of strategists here and at Milton Keynes. The pit stops today were very quick.” unlike Ferrari’s highlighting one of Binotto’s supreme blunders.
Ferrari’s team principal had stated on the Sky Sport microphones that the problem was the low speed of the F1-75 Ferrari car, and not the wrong strategy. The principal also defended his men during the press conference in Hungary:
“At the race wall absolutely nothing should be changed. Other teams make mistakes, for ten years they are the same, keep the same organisation and then win a World Championship”.
Mattia Binotto then continued: “I don’t understand why you have to change after every single mistake. My approach is not to change, but to add, always: understand what doesn’t work, correct and when I say add I mean improve. This is a strong base, the guys are showing mentality, determination and ability. Obviously we still need to grow and we will.”
But if you keep doing the same things Mattia, you usually get the same results.
Ralph Schumacher believes Binotto will be axed over the summer.“I already see him in danger during the summer break,” he told Sky Germany. “There are too many little things that went wrong and too many technical problems. If you get a gift like this, being able to drive for the championship again and endangering it and throwing it away, that’s it already bitter.”
Perhaps for those in the know, Binotto understands that the pitwall team will likely stay, but he will not.