Scuderia Ferrari Mattia Binotto boss has briefed his Maranello team to chase down McLaren in the fight for a place behind Mercedes and Red Bull in the 2021 Formula 1 championship, despite the fact that third place is not really the most important goal in this final part of the season, but rather focusing on the development work for the 2022 championship.
The two rivals are separated by just 7.5 points at the end of the Turkish Grand Prix, with six events until the end for which Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz can now rely on an upgraded power unit fitted inside their SF21 cars to take the fight to their rivals.
Despite previous remarks on the subject, asked if third was now the target , Mattia Binotto explained: “It’s certainly a target that we have already communicated to the team. I think everybody is on board on that. Honestly, it would be great to finish third. I think that even working with a clear objective at the end of this season is important for us because it is like a way of working under pressure and being trained to that. So yes, our objective is to do this at the end of the season.” – he added.
Carlos Sainz is ready to follow Mattia Binotto’s brief but feels he and team-mate Charles Leclerc must take their chances when they can because the performance balance between the two teams could constantly change at each different venue.
Charles Leclerc finished P4 at Istanbul Park, with Carlos Sainz P8, which allowed the Italian side to close the gap to McLaren by 10 points as it managed only seventh place from Lando Norris.
Asked whether the new engine will help him in the quest to beat McLaren, Carlos Sainz said:
“It is a tricky question to answer. As you saw [in Turkey] we were quicker than McLaren, and in Sochi they were quicker than us. I still believe it is going to be up and down until the end of the year. What this engine should give us, I think, is the possibility in the circuits where we were behind to be a bit closer and in the circuits we are in front to be a bit further up. This is what we were looking for since the upgrade was pushed forward and we hope it is going to give us that little edge to try to make the fight a bit more complicated. We managed to cut 10 points on them, which for the points we are fighting is quite a big gap, so we keep fighting and six races to go I think anything can happen.”