In Italy, Ferrari is an institution – it warms many Tifosi’s hearts and passion. As such, however, it is constantly surrounded my media attention and incredible expectations.
Even more so now that, after two years of deep crisis, the Scuderia seems to have found a car capable of delivering good performances.
Mattia Binotto, team principal of Ferrari, in his speech at the Festival dello Sport did not betray his role. The engineer from Reggio Emilia is under unbelievable pressure because after a brilliant start of the season, Ferrari has not collected the results it seemed to deserve.
The 2022 World Championship has exposed what are the pain points of a team that is not yet ripe to start a cycle of success: repeated errors in strategies, engine failures due to lack of reliability and some driver smears have taken the Scuderia out of the contention.
Binotto is a demanding manager, but he pampers his drivers. Asked what he would expect from Leclerc and Sainz, he said, "More wins. I say it again and again: we have the best pair in F1. They get along very well with each other, and because of the way they help each other they help the team grow."
"When we talk about it on Friday and Saturday after the sessions about what one or the other feels, there is an open, honest exchange. They both know that improving our car and our team means growing to beat others."
Binotto then highlighted the challenge awaiting Ferrari is: "It is no longer enough to do our homework well, to win you have to keep progressing and improving: and to do that we have to give 120 percent if not 130 percent."
"We are coming from very difficult seasons, from the sixth place 2021 in the Constructors: These were years that marked us because we suffered pressure and criticism. And in a way they shaped us.
“We promised that we would be competitive again and we have kept that promise, but what I want to say is that between having a performing car and drivers and the ability to consolidate the ability to maximise every situation there is still a step to go”.
The Italian TP recalled when he joined Ferrari in 1995 and did not forget Michael Schumacher's first victory in red in Spain in 1996: “It was also my first victory and when I heard the anthem I realized what it means to be Ferrari, but then we started winning championships in 1999 and 2000”.
Today's F1 has changed a lot: "It's overturned, the main teams have more than doubled their staffs. There are real giants in the race in terms of means and resources. But that's why it will be even better to beat them!"
But what is missing to rise to the top?
"That winning mentality that was there in the Schumacher era and that pushed you to do better after every win.
And a few too many mistakes – "In Montmeló and Baku we had some trouble when we were leading...."
In short, Binotto made a pretty lucid description of the team with its strengths and weaknesses, but he looks to the future with confidence: at the eve of the Singapore GP, Ferrari will try to get back on the path to victory after some difficult races. That would be the best medicine to build a competitive 2023.