Ferrari has denied reports that Italian team principal Mattia Binotto is set to be sacked and replaced by Alfa Romeo counterpart Frederic Vasseur; Ferrari finished runners-up to Red Bull in the 2022 Constructors’ Championship after an error-ridden campaign
Last update: 21/11/22 22:10
Despite speculation about his work, Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto remains focused on developing a good car for next season.
Mattia Binotto insists he is ‘relaxed’ about his future with Ferrari despite speculation he is set to be replaced as team principal.
Ferrari made a great start to the 2022 season as Charles Leclerc won two of the first three races, but their hopes of ending long waits for the drivers’ and constructors’ titles faded as Max Verstappen and Red Bull ultimately dominated .
The Italian team’s inability to maximize results in a fast and highly competitive car for much of the season, along with reliability issues and poor strategic decisions, increased the pressure on Binotto during the second half of the season. country.
Ahead of the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Ferrari has denied reports that chairman John Elkann has decided to sack Binotto and replace him with Alfa Romeo team principal Frederic Vasseur, calling him a “totally baseless”.
Asked how the reports made him feel, Binotto said: “Obviously it’s not for me to decide, but I’m pretty relaxed.
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“The reason why I am relaxed is that I always have open, frank and constructive discussions with my bosses, with my president, not only in the short term but in the medium and long term.
“More than that, if I look back on the season, yes we had some ups and downs and today we’re not the fastest car on track, but we achieved our main goal of being back and competitive in the new era of 2022 cars.”
Ferrari entered the 2022 campaign having failed to win a race in the previous two years and appear to have adapted brilliantly to the sport’s new design rules as Leclerc duel with Verstappen at the start of the season .
However, despite remaining very strong in qualifying, Ferrari were repeatedly outclassed by Red Bull on race day, with team and driver errors playing a part.
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Strategic blunders left Leclerc and teammate Carlos Sainz frustrated on several occasions, while reliability issues forced both drivers to suffer multiple grid penalties for replacing engine parts.
“I think it’s been a fantastic season, overall,” Binotto said. “We were back competitive, which was our main goal for this season. We had a fantastic car at the start of the season. I don’t think anyone expected Ferrari to be so strong.”
“It proves that the team has worked very well in difficult times. After 2020 and 2021, we have remained united. I think this is a team that has not only worked well but proved to be capable.
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“Yes, there are still a lot of things we need to improve, weaknesses have been shown. But I’m pretty sure that as we have done in the past, we will review them and try to address them. .” The team back at the factory is fully focused on trying to improve for 2023.”
Leclerc drove brilliantly at the Yas Marina Circuit to retain second place on the day and in the Drivers’ Championship, while the result also helped Ferrari seal second place ahead of Mercedes in the constructors’ standings.
“I think this season has been exceptional in terms of pole position and qualifying, but not so good in terms of race pace,” added Binotto.
“We know we have to somehow improve the pace of the race because strategy – or anything around it – is much easier if you have a strong car in the race itself. .
“I’m relaxed, but more than that, I’m really focused on what we have to do, and focused with the team.”