Despite the fact that the 2022 Formula 1 championship was the best season in terms of results for Scuderia Ferrari since 2018, the Prancing Horse is experiencing a winter that is anything but clear.
The news of Mattia Binotto’s resignation, which will become effective starting next January, has generated a lot of excitement to an environment that – after the splendid start to the 2022 Formula 1 championship – has thrown away the possibility of competing for the entire year with Red Bull due to a combination of strategic errors, reliability problems and deficiencies in the development of the car. The reports on the possible replacements of Mattia Binotto’s have hit the headlines and the rumours will continue until the new team principal is officially announced.
Even more than the now former team boss Mattia Binotto, however, during the season it was the strategy department that found itself at the center of numerous criticisms. Many fans of the Maranello team pointed to the strategy department as the weak link in the Ferrari chain and Mario Andretti also shared his thoughts on the matter.
The legend of American motorsport, a Formula 1 world champion in 1978, has always been linked to the Ferrari name, for which he raced and even won a race. Interviewed by the Italian daily newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport, ‘Piedone’ had no problems in pointing out that more than one thing didn’t work properly.
“Mattia Binotto’s exit? Certainly Ferrari need to change more than just something in terms of strategies – acknowledged the 82-year-old former Italian-American driver – when you have a competitive car you don’t need to do things differently from others. There were times when everyone on the track had soft tires and one, or both Ferrari cars, had mediums: but you do what the others do. No need to try to be smarter. We have seen certain bad moments … I don’t know who made the calls. There is certainly a change to the system: to have the drivers participate in the decisions, only they can hear how the tires work. If I think back to the intermediate call for Charles Leclerc in Interlagos… my goodness”.
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Speaking of drivers, during the season many have accused Mattia Binotto and the entire Ferrari pit wall of a certain reluctance in identifying a first driver within the team. In fact, according to the common opinion, the Scuderia should have put Charles Leclerc more at the center of the project, given the fact that for a long time the Monegasque driver appeared as Max Verstappen’s only possible rival in the race for the 2022 Formula 1 title.
Conversely, Ferrari has always put Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz on the same level. Mario Andretti agrees with this philosophy, but up to a certain point: “Ferrari has two drivers capable of winning and it’s beautiful. They has to let them fight at least up to a certain point in the season – explained Mario Andretti – until we see who will have the chance to compete for the title. Then maybe put the other at his service. But in the beginning they should be absolutely free” – the former Scuderia Ferrari driver concluded.
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