Scuderia Ferrari Team Principal Mattia Binotto took part in Friday’s press conference ahead of the Japanese Grand Prix:
Q: Tomorrow’s programme has been called due to the typhoon. Can we get your thoughts on that decision and could you explains how it has affected your programme today.
Mattia Binotto: “I think it’s a shame for the fans but it’s a fully respectable decision, safety is first. In terms of programmes, certainly it’s a lot more intense now. We are certainly skipping one session, which is FP3. Qualifying may be occurring on Sunday morning. But it means that today it will be a lot more intense. We’ve got, eventually, more tyres to be used – the ones from FP3. We need to set up the car for the Quali on Sunday morning. There’s just a session less. Things are more complicated but certainly a great challenge but I’m pretty sure it should be a good show and spectacle on Sunday.”
Q: Mattia, we understood from Charles yesterday that you spoke to both drivers in Maranello last week. How confident are you that another situation like the one we saw in Russia won’t arise again?
Mattia Binotto: First, it’s not the first time we are speaking in Maranello. It’s true that I met both of them this week, they were in Maranello for some activities: simulator etc., I think we had positive, constructive, honest, fair, transparent discussions with both of them, individuals. I think what happened in Sochi, nothing really bad but certainly something that needs to be improved and addressed and I think it’s only an opportunity of lesson learned and trying to do better in the future. But how much I’m confident it will not happen, I’m not at all. I think these are both very good drivers. They are all going for a single objective which is winning themselves but I think what again is more important is that at least we between us we’ve got clarity and fairness and I think that’s key.
Q: You say they’re both very competitive drivers. What have you learnt about Sebastian and Charles over the last two grand prix weekends?
Mattia Binotto: I think that they are both performing very well and, as I’ve often said this season, it’s somehow a luxury for a team principal having this situation. I’m very pleased for the racing performance of Sebastian, as I am for the one of Charles since, let’s say, the start of the season and his progresses. What I’ve learned, that we’ve got a very competitive line-up. But I don’t think I learned it. It’s not a surprise, it’s something on which we’re simply happy.