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Allison empathises with Binotto

NEWS STORY
22/07/2020

It is 18 months since Mattia Binotto was offered the poisoned chalice that is the role of team principal at Ferrari.

While there have been a number of improvements since the days when Maurizio Arrivabene ruled the roost, most of these have been away from the track, such as a more open approach to the media, whilst the on-track performance has sadly dropped away.

Last summer the team mounted an impressive revival which saw the Italian outfit claim three successive victories, though it subsequently became clear that in its efforts to beat Mercedes Ferrari had pushed well beyond the envelope.

Indeed, as the team struggles in the midfield, it becomes increasingly clear that those three wins came at a terrible price.

Bearing the brunt of the team's struggles is Mattia Binotto, a nice guy and brilliant engineer, who should never have been given the job of mixing it with the likes of Toto Wolff and Christian Horner in the 2020 version of the Piranha Club.

With every fresh calamity - and we are only three races in remember - the pressure on Binotto mounts, particularly in terms of the media.

As Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes stamp an authority on the sport in a manner not witnessed since Michael Schumacher and Ferrari, the Italian media is ramping up the pressure.

Speaking in Hungary, Mercedes technical boss, James Allison, who spent two stints with the Maranello outfit, empathised with Binotto.

Asked what is is like at Ferrari when things are not going well, the Briton said: "Well, clearly, I wouldn't have gone back to Ferrari a second time if working there was a miserable experience.

"I had two very important parts of my career at Ferrari," he continued, "and have massive affection for the brand, for the people there and I hope they wouldn't mind me saying I've got many friends in that team.

"Working at Ferrari is in many ways an unalloyed joy but the country is so pro the team, the brand is so strong, the history and heritage of Ferrari is so important that you do feel that you are part of something that is itself important and that is a real strength for that group... but it's also probably their biggest burden that they carry too because along with that affection and joy that the nation shares in Ferrari's successes comes a great deal of pressure when things are going poorly, and that pressure is externally applied from the press in a much more intense way than any other Formula One team.

"It is internally applied from just everyone who feels the duty to be living up to the great performances that the team has showed in the past and it is, I think, most powerfully internally expressed by a top down leadership style that at Ferrari is probably more exaggerated than in other teams and that tends to make the team make short term decisions and can lead it astray instead of building fundamental strengths that will carry it from year to year.

"So it is a real mixture of these heady highs and base lows which have, at their root, the same origin which is the huge desire within the team and without, for the Ferrari brand to be fighting at the front of the field."

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Bill Hopgood, 22/07/2020 19:15

"The Ferrari leadership just need to turn off the social media (all media except Pitpass, of course) and get their heads down and out engineer their opposition.

Regarding comments below about cheating, the problem with the F1 technical regulations is that they are extremely complicated and going by the comments of the engineers in the teams, stifle innovation.
That forces all the teams to push the limits of the rules to squeeze everything they can out of what they are allowed to do.
None of that excuses breaking the rules.

Regarding McLaren @aroutis, go back and read the World Motorsport Council Transcripts of what happened.

Most enlightening on how the penalty was applied.

Then look at what the team that was known as Renault did that same year when they had another teams data.

Go back and look at the team based in Colone got up to in 2003.
"

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2. Posted by aroutis, 22/07/2020 14:02

""the team that cheats more than any other"
Oh but we all know that the one team that has the seal of cheaters in the world of F1 is none other that McLaren. That will never go away, the stink is there for it to stay, for ever, and ever. "

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3. Posted by DRAGON F1, 22/07/2020 13:25

"Ferrari 'cheats' and it's conveniently covered up by the head of the FIA who happens to be a former team principal of Ferrari!!

I can't believe that Mercedes and Red Bull are dropping this case!! "

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4. Posted by Wokingchap, 22/07/2020 10:23

"A very eloquent, diplomatic and complementary insight into what it's like at Ferrari (the team that cheats more than any other). They just don't know how to handle that pressure."

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