Scuderia Ferrari Team Principal Mattia Binotto feels the Italian side’s call to shift its development focus solely on the 2022 Formula 1 project cost the Maranello team about 0.5 seconds to Mercedes and Red Bull in 2021, as the two teams were forced to continue updating last year’s cars given their title fight which was decided in the last round, at the Yas Marina circuit.
Despite the fact that Scuderia Ferrari showed some string signs of progress in the 2021 Formula 1 championship, things could have looked even better had the Italian side not turned its attention mainly on this year’s project and its all-new cars. But Ferrari knew there was not much to gain by developing the SF21 car and therefore confirmed from the early stages of the 2021 season that 2022 was the most important target.
However, Ferrari was still able to show some good performances and even took two pole positions last year, as the Maranello team ended up third in the Formula 1 Constructor Standings, beating rivals McLaren by 48.5 points after an enthralling season-long fight. But while this result can be considered a good achievement, Scuderia Ferrari did not manage to score a single race victory in 2020 and 2021, with the expectations of ending this unfortunate period in 2022. Mattia Binotto feels the decision not to develop the SF21 car cost the Italian team about half a second:
“If I look at the last years, or if I look at the gap between us and Mercedes, how much it increased, I would say the average is 0.5 seconds. I see that if you are fully convinced or you are putting significant effort and resources to our usage on development, 0.5 seconds is what you may achieve. Now, we said our priority was to develop the 2022 weaponry because of the budget cap. Obviously, we’ve got limited resources, but an unlimited cap. We had, as well, limited capital in the past, which was higher. But for us, knowing that in 2021 we were coming from 2020 and we could not have reached the best, for us, it was important even to focus on what has been done in the future and trying to continuously create solid foundations for the future. That’s because of our choice.” – he explained.
A few days ago, Ferrari confirmed a company restructure, but Mattia Binotto has kept his role as their sports management lead. He will therefore continue to report to Ferrari chief executive Benedetto Vigna and explains the changes will have no impact on the Formula 1 department: “There will be no impact on the Scuderia,” said the Italian, “and there will be no more responsibility for myself. The new organisations with Ferrari overall, we reorganised but no impact for us.” – he concluded.