The choice of Ferrari strategies at the Hungarian Grand Prix, the last race before the current summer stop, has caused a lot of discussion.
Already on several occasions Scuderia Ferrari has given up results that could have kept the Maranello team in the running in both world championship: sometimes the fault has lay in the reliability of the power unit, but on as many occasions in the choice of strategy. Yet Ferrari’s team principal Mattia Binotto argues that Scuderia’s strategy section is not a weakness.
“First, I believe there’s always a way to improve, you can’t be perfect and you never will be. I have no doubt about the need to always make progress, we need to improve on aerodynamics, chassis, power unit, strategy and all aspects that can be improved,” said the team principal to Motorsport.com.
“That said, I think I have a great team in charge of strategy and I don’t think it’s our weak point. Races like Monaco, Silverstone or Paul Ricard have been judged problematic on this front, but I don’t see the group as a problem, because I believe we’ve also made the right decisions.”
Binotto then went into the specifics of the choices adopted by the wall, explaining why he considers them correct, despite having been pointed out by many as errors.
"I'm not convinced that what we did was wrong, I think we made what were the right decisions at the time they were made, and sometimes they turned out to be unlucky, not wrong. And if we look at the work of our strategy team, sometimes they have also done great things, better than their opponents.”
"For example, in Austria we had the right strategy, as opposed to our opponents, just as we probably had the best strategy in France before Charles' mistake. At Paul Ricard we had the courage to bring two sets of mediums into the race, and to make such a choice you don’t just have to be good, but also brave.”
"So overall, we have a good team and I don't think that's a weakness. We could start discussing, once again, Monaco, Silverstone and Paul Ricard: from my point of view I think they were difficult decisions, perhaps unfortunate, but not always wrong. So I don’t think it’s our weakness right now.”
The Reggio Emilia engineer in the end took as an example what Mercedes did in the final laps of the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, when a non-call to the pits lost Lewis Hamilton's an eighth world title, handing it over to Max Verstappen.
“I also believe that was the right decision for Lewis. Max was right, he won the championship, but if the opposite had happened (Hamilton does the pit stop, and Verstappen remains on track) how would the world championship have ended? We’ll never know.”
"So if at Silverstone Charles had entered the pits, with Lewis probably staying on track on fresh tyres anyway, how would the race end? I don’t know. Everyone believes they can somehow discuss what we decided at Silverstone, but the reality is that we will never get the answer,” Binotto concluded.