Alone: Team boss Mattia Binotto (52) remains calm: “There is nothing that we have to change,” he says.
The explanation for the rather one-sided perception of the Italian sounds like this: “If I look at the balance sheet of the first half of the season, then there is no reason why we should change anything. It’s always just about constantly learning and building experience and skills.”
That’s not quite right: In the end, Formula 1 is always about victories and titles.
According to Binotto, the second in the World Cup is just as discouraged as the Ferrari capo himself. “He tries to rest and relax so that he comes back even more ambitious.”
The question remains: is this attitude enough to get Ferrari back on the road to success? The fact is: Binotto has been chasing the World Cup for three years. And not only that: in 2019 he exceeded the limits of what was permitted so much with the drive of the red racer that the team was punished with horsepower withdrawal in a secret deal with the FIA in 2020. It wasn’t until 2021 that the Scuderia slowly made it back to the top.
The balance sheet remains sobering even under his leadership: since the departure of Jean Todt and Ross Brawn (end of 2007), Ferrari has only won a constructors’ world title in 2008. Both Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel failed in the World Cup project. At the command post, the current Formula 1 boss Stefano Domenicali (2008-2014), Marco Mattiacci (2014), Maurizio Arrivabene (2015-18) and currently Mattia Binotto (2019-today) were responsible for the performance.
“He’s a very good engineer and also a very good guy,” says ex-driver Felipe Massa about the current team boss. “He understands a lot about the technical side of the sport. And as I said, he’s a good guy.” Nevertheless, the Brazilian concedes: “Ultimately the results don’t add up and even if you can’t blame him entirely, he is partly responsible.”
Massa’s advice: “Ferrari need to be more calm when making decisions and understand what’s going on because the mistakes in strategy that were made at the beginning of the season are still being made today. He needs to turn the tide quickly, otherwise he might have to pay the price.”
What the Brazilian means: The executive chair at Ferrari has always been an ejection seat. But Binotto still has a reprieve.
“Basically, you have to concede to Mattia that he made Ferrari a team that can win every race,” ex-Ferrari team boss Cesare Fiorio (1989-91) points out in the Gazzetta dello Sport. He also says: “Binotto was a great engineer, first as an engine specialist, then as technical director, but his job today is very different. Something is obviously wrong at Ferrari, mistakes are made, Binotto has to get to the bottom of that.”
Fiorio also refers to the successful times in the early 2000s. The ex-race director: “In today’s Formula 1, everything has to work almost perfectly in order to win. That was different at Ferrari in the days of Todt and Schumacher. Ferrari sometimes had such a blatantly superior car that one or the other mistake could be concealed. Today that is no longer possible.”
In other words, the Schluderia Ferrari must become the Scuderia Ferrari again in the future. And Binotto in particular will have to be measured against it in the second half of the season.