Ferrari chairman John Elkann admitted that Ferrari had made “too many mistakes” throughout the season in an angry statement on Binotto’s performance, but insisted that the Italian manufacturer’s board still had “great confidence” in Mattia Binotto, the current Scuderia Ferrari director.
After a stunning start to the season with a win in the opening round in Bahrain, Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc has emerged as a serious contender for the world title this year. But as the season progressed, reliability problems, strategic errors and driving mistakes allowed Red Bull and Max Verstappen to take the lead in both the drivers’ and constructors’ championships.
Ahead of this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix, the 16th round of the Formula One World Championship in Monza, Max Verstappen leads the drivers’ championship by 109 points over Charles Leclerc, while Red Bull also leads the constructors’ championship by 135 points over Scuderia Ferrari.
Despite the difficulties, the Ferrari president has publicly supported Mattia Binotto, but admits that progress is now needed:
“We appreciate everything he and our engineers have done, but there is no doubt that the work in Maranello, in the garage, on the pit wall and behind the wheel needs to be improved,” said John Elkann in an interview with the Gazzetta Dello Sport on the eve of the Italian Grand Prix.
“We have to keep improving and that goes for the mechanics, the engineers, the drivers and of course the whole management team, including the team headmaster. We have seen that there are still too many mistakes in terms of reliability, driving and strategy.”
The Ferrari president insisted, however, that he still had faith in Mattia Binotto, who has enabled the Scuderia to become competitive again:
“Trusting Binotto and his team was the right decision and it has paid off. Thanks to them, we are competitive and we are winning again. But I am not satisfied, because I think we can always do better.”
Aware that the world title Ferrari has been chasing since 2007 will certainly not come this year again, Elkann is already focusing on the next few seasons and believes the Italian team will be able to win constructors’ and drivers’ titles before 2026, when the new engine regulations come into force in Formula 1.
“Our first objective was to be competitive. If you are not, you are not going anywhere, whereas you can always work on reliability,
“That’s why I think that before 2026 Ferrari will win the constructors’ and drivers’ titles again, with Charles [Leclerc] on pole. We are lucky to have two great drivers, probably the strongest duo in Formula 1.”