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Binotto defends Ferrari's strategy


Ferrari boss, Mattia Binotto claims it was the F1-75's lack of performance in cooler temperatures rather than poor strategy that compromised his team today.

Surely, around the world, as Charles Leclerc - pictured channeling his inner Joe Pesci from Casino - pitted on lap 39 of today's race only to be fitted with hard tyres, the cries of frustration were even greater than those heard last weekend when the Italian team appeared to be telling Carlos Sainz to pit at the precise moment he was battling Sergio Perez for third place.

Over the course of the preceding laps we had witnessed numerous drivers come to regret the switch to hards, yet here was the race leader making the same mistake.

As the rest of the world breathed a sigh, suggesting that it was business as usual for the Maranello squad, Mattia Binotto claims it was the Ferrari's performance in the cooler conditions that compromised its race and not poor strategic calls.

"When we fitted the hard, our simulation was that it could have been a difficult couple of laps of warm-up," Binotto explained.

"It would have been slower to the medium for 10 or 11 laps," he continued, "and then it would have come back and been faster than the end of the stint, and it was a 30-lap stint.

"We were trying to protect position on Max," he insisted. "It would have been too long certainly for the softs.

"Yes, it would have been difficult at the start of the stint," he admitted, "but it would have come back by the end."

Asked why Ferrari hadn't learned from the struggles of other drivers on the hards, most notably Fernando Alonso, Binotto said: "We discussed it, but it's not that it is all written in stone.

"During the race and looking at what's going on, we have as well looked at what was happening with the other hard tyres. We took all considerations, we discussed what would have been best and that's the choice that we made.

"It certainly was not the right one today," he admitted.

"It's important to say that we believe that the car was not working as expected," he insisted. "We didn't have the speed we were hoping for looking back at Friday, and the pace we had in the race conditions on Friday. So today was certainly different conditions, a lot cooler.

"But overall the speed today was not great enough, whatever tyres we were using, I don't think we were as good as we were looking for."

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1. Posted by kenji, 02/08/2022 3:11

"Removing Binotto is not the answer. The problem lies with the strategy leader and whilst Binotto wears the consequences of results it's the strategy team that needs to be changed. As TP Binotto cannot be expected to be all things to all people, that's why specialists are recruited. Just go ahead and make the changes, that is if they have another team ready to slot into place....highly unlikely. The status quo cannot be allowed to continue."

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2. Posted by F1nerd, 01/08/2022 21:53

"If something drastic is not done over the summer break they will lose their second place in the championship to Mercedes who are now catching them very rapidly. Red Bull have increased their lead so no hope of catching them. The only way is to sort out the strategy and slow pit stops. I certainly hope they improve vary soon."

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3. Posted by flyinglap, 01/08/2022 17:44

"This time I will not even bother to comment on the merit (?) of the arguments of Binotto. What has just happened, for yet another time, is too disgusting and disturbing for that. Enough is enough. Therefore, at least two people need to go with immediate effect: Mattia Binotto and Inaki Rueda (sporting and strategy director). Back in 1962 (as we read in history books) Enzo Ferrari famously fired on the spot the entire management of both the Formula 1 team and the racing technical department (headed by Carlo Chiti), just one season after winning the world championship with Phil Hill. Enzo Ferrari handed "the keys" to young Mauro Forghieri almost fresh out of university, and simply told him that he had his back. It is imperative now that a new team principal is appointed during the summer break. Ferrari controlling-shareholder and chairman (as well as chairman of Stellantis - a separate company - and grandson of the late Gianni Agnelli), John Elkann, needs to wake up and exercise his executive power. Raking in the billions and enjoying the good life is all well and dandy, but once in a while one needs to step up to the challenge. Maybe a former F1 (Ferrari) driver (with the required combination of competence, racecraft, smarts, temperament and "balls") could be persuaded to take over as team manager. The name of Gerhard Berger comes to mind, Kimi Raikkonen could be another, or even Niko Rosberg. This is the type of people suitable for the job; certainly not Binotto nor Rueda (and by the way, there is always the "shadow" of certain Spanish team-sponsors behind the "why" of these repeated strategy "blunders" that tend to penalize Leclerc more often than not). I do hope there will be changes by the time we get to Spa. "

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4. Posted by Wokingchap, 01/08/2022 17:30

"@roamy.... I certainly agree with you where Binotto is concerned, but we do not want flavio anywhere near F1."

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5. Posted by aroutis, 01/08/2022 14:13

"Basically alvarezh3 pretty much said most of what I needed to say.
As far as I am concerned, a leader should assume responsibility when there as issues and when things go the right way to throw the focus to the team and himself to be the hidden hero.
That is what a leader is.

Now take Binotto and someone tells me, is he a leader?
What did he do at Hungary? Did he raise the hand and say "This is all my fault? I assume responsibility cause the buck stops with ME? Because if the setup of the car was wrong, I approved it, because if the strategy was wrong I approved it, cause if the heads of staff are incapable, I approved them"?

What he did , is provided a LAUGHABLE excuse pertaining the performance of a ... car?
A car surely has a setup, that includes the tyres (and of course other components). But even if we take into account the so called simulation data, the simulation data should take into account the track temperature which was not the same during Sunday?
So ... what the heck (I try very hard to be nice here).
So , a big question is, during the time they sipped their ristretto, did they take into account the fact that the cars that ran hard tyres DURING the race were dead slow? Or did they think that Ferrari would magically be fast because... simulator?

Leclerc has now been screwed twice. Same exact way.
The tifosi are getting tired and at Italy people are fuming.

It will be interesting to see if there are going to be ANY changes after the summer break. "

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6. Posted by alvarezh3, 01/08/2022 11:44

"Binotto, when you come out to justify the blunders made by the team YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR, please, at least make your excuses halfway plausible.

According to you, the car underperformed do to the cool atmospheric conditions, so you appropriately install the tire that least performs under those conditions, right? I get it, well, I mean to say that I am trying to get it, but I don't. You say that the soft in the last stint would of not lasted to the end, well, as you found out, the hard either do to performance loss, what is the gain by running a lasting slow tire? Didn't you noticed that everyone else was avoiding using it? Don't Ferrari use "situation awareness", the team doesn't take into consideration what is going on around it with respect on what the competition is doing regarding (among other things) tire use and why? Two long stints on the mediums and a short soft worked wonder for Mercedes and RedBull, but Ferrari knows best! Ferrari, you blew it, PERIOD!!!!

Guys, Ferrari has admitted that they used a computer simulator result to design their tire use allocation strategy during the race. BUT, according to Mattia, this tool was flawed! How can then the strategy be correct (defended) when the tool's result used to obtain the said strategy is incorrect? Come on Binotto, get your act together!

BTW Mattia, I would strongly recommend you assign a team of ITALIAN engineers to scrutinize the algorithm used in your referenced race tire allocating simulation program (Yea, the culprit, the one you blamed, that one!) for, due to it's results, it may of have been derived by some Austrian, German, British or Dutch engineers. :-)

I feel sorry for Ferrari's hard working drivers and mechanics but the results have shown that the scuderia is just performing at the level it has been doing ever since the last time it won a championship (2008)...... as non contenders.

For the last 14 years Ferrari has shown to be capable of:

1) Designing an uncompetitive (slow) car.
2) Building an unreliable one.
3) Assembling a team of individuals incapable of making sound race strategic decisions.
4) Messing up during pit stops.
5) When one or more of the above conditions are not met during the weekend, then the drivers call upon themselves to commit grave qualifying/race errors.

I get the impression that Mattia's excuses are given not to protect the team's faults but to cover those of his own caused by his management weaknesses. In other words, they seem to have the self serving purpose of keeping his job.

Binotto, tell us, Sunday's failed engine on Botta's Sauber was an Alfa Romeo, right? No? There are a pair of big Alfa Romeo logos on each of the two engine side covers.... Yea, thought so, then that doesn't fall under you responsibility. Super, you and Ferrari are good to go then! :-)

The heat in northern Italy could suddenly increase as Gazzetta dello Sport could start shooting some (editorial) HIMARS over Maranello any day now!

On a side note: Congratulations to the British ladies on their first ever Euro final! :-)"

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7. Posted by Greg, 01/08/2022 8:26

"Suggest that Ferrari get a new strategy team. One that understands looking at data and comparing other teams performance also into the equation "

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8. Posted by roamy, 01/08/2022 7:36

"Binotto is a freaking idiot - Where is Flavio when we need him"

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9. Posted by kenji, 01/08/2022 2:27

"Surely there was enough evidence out there to make the right decision re tyres. The hard was 'merde' as explained by Leclerc who must be wondering what needs to happen in order to avoid being shafted so often. The same comment also applies to Sainz. I like Ferrari and their drivers who are both doing a great job in a suoer car but the pit wall is the biggest weakness. What a disappointment. "

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10. Posted by Kkiirmki, 01/08/2022 1:51

"Why didn't Ferrari, or at least one of them, start on the soft tyre? Sainz started in the mediums, and pitted on the next lap after Russell. What was the point of only running them for 17 laps? And then, Leclerc ran his second stint on the mediums for only 18 laps. Ferrari got scared into reacting to others around them, instead of concentrating on their own race strategy. Even after all the evidence suggesting the Hard tyre was rubbish, they still went with it. At least a longer stint on the mediums would have given them a better chance at the end with the soft tyre.

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11. Posted by GordonG47, 01/08/2022 1:10

"'Binotto defends Ferrari's strategy'

How do you defend the indefensible? Ferrari has gone from being a team renowned for stuffing up pit stops (they used to be compared to 'Chinese fire drills' before the world went all PC on us) to now being renowned for stuffing up their race strategy.

They'd probably do better if they went back to stuffing up the pit stops and got the strategy right...


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12. Posted by Burton, 31/07/2022 21:35

"Sure, Jan, sure."

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