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Beating McLaren isn't the goal, insists Binotto

NEWS STORY
30/06/2021

Ferrari team boss, Mattia Binotto insists that finishing third in the championship and beating McLaren is not the Italian team's main objective.

While Red Bull and Mercedes continue to slug it out for the main prize(s), McLaren and Ferrari look set to spend 2021 fighting for the 'best of the rest' title.

However, while Mattia Binotto is delighted to put the nightmare of 2020 behind him - the team having slumped to sixth in the standings - the Italian has eyes for only one prize, the world championship.

Following a tough French Grand Prix where his team failed to score points for the first time this season, Ferrari bounced back at the Red Bull Ring, out-scoring its main rival by 4 points.

"How important is it to gain points over McLaren? It isn't," said Binotto, "maybe I'm surprising you.

"As I said at the start of the season, our main objectives is to make sure as a team we are progressing in the view of the next years and the next seasons," he continued. "Doing better in every single area, making sure we are learning from the mistakes, as it has been in France.

"Clearly third position in the constructors' can be an objective," he admitted, "but it's not the main one. The main one, as I said before, is as a team, we are improving and doing better in the future. In that respect, great, we gained four points for the constructors', but it's not our top objective for the season.

"The fact that our drivers are doing well to McLaren, not judging the others, I will not start doing it, I am judging ourselves, I am very proud the way our drivers are fitting into the team, behaving and driving."

Paul Ricard highlighted the Maranello outfit's long-standing issue with front tyre wear, and Binotto insists that the positivity that followed the Styrian Grand Prix performance must not be allowed to suggest this basic flaw has been overcome.

"We have not addressed completely the issue of France," he said. "Going back to France, we could have done some things differently and improved our performance there. But I think overall the car has got some weaknesses which you did not see here and again when you go to Silverstone, Silverstone can be again a difficult circuit for us, high-speed corners with a lot of energy in the tyres.

"More important I think is the approach," he continued. "How the team reacted in Austria has worked properly and I'm pretty sure that if Silverstone is a difficult circuit for us, no doubt it will be better than France."

Reflecting on the Styrian Grand Prix weekend, he said: "Overall we are happy, no doubt starting ahead in qualifying would've been better. If we look at the overall balance of the weekend, our qualifying result needs to be improved.

"But we've got an opportunity back here at the same track, to try to address it," he added. "Again, the team will work together to try and understand how we may improve our speed in the qualifying. But overall I think we can be happy."

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