Mar.18 (GMM) Mattia Binotto says Ferrari is not panicking after a bad start to the 2019 season.
The entire paddock was stunned in Melbourne to discover that, after the Maranello team’s dominance of winter testing, Mercedes and also Red Bull-Honda were faster at the first race.
“We need to analyse what happened here in peace at the factory,” new team boss Binotto said.
“I remain convinced that we have a good car. We haven’t seen our true potential on a race weekend yet,” he added.
The pressure is also mounting on the shoulders of ‘number 1’ Sebastian Vettel. Binotto confirmed that only a team order meant Charles Leclerc didn’t pass him for fourth position.
“At that time we did not want to jeopardise the result we had. For us it made no sense for Charles to attack him,” he said.
At one point, Vettel even asked his engineer on the radio: “Why are we so slow?”
La Gazzetta dello Sport said it was a “weak” performance by Vettel.
“Leclerc seems to have more energy and openly admits that he was told to stay behind in the final stages of the race,” said the Italian sports daily.
But boss Binotto insists he is staying calm.
“This weekend was unexpected. We thought we could improve the balance over the weekend, but it didn’t happen. Today I have no answer.
“But we stay calm because we believe in the potential of this car. We think this was an outlier that hopefully will not be repeated. Maybe it’s a good lesson for us,” he said.
Vettel is also confident Ferrari is still in the fight with Mercedes and Red Bull-Honda for the world championship.
“It was one race,” said the German. “Mercedes is very strong and the rest are far behind, but it’s a long year,” he said.
F1 Changes Starting in 2021 - After many months of discussions and deliberations, Formula 1’s ten teams have now agreed to the terms of the “Concorde Agreement” that binds them to the world championship for another five years.
This agreement is a contract between Formula 1, the FIA governing body and the teams which wish to compete in the F1 World Championship from 2021 to 2025 and defines how F1’s television revenues and prize money will be distributed.
Formula 1 bosses have been keen to build a strong foundation on which to secure the long-term future for the championship. As such a revolutionary new budget cap will be introduced next year, along with new technical regulations and a new set of sporting rules coming in 2022.
The Covid-19 pandemic has created unprecedented challenges for everyone in 2020, and has served as another reminder that something needed to change. Once the championship restarted, so too could the commercial agreement talks.
By changing the way the prize money is distributed, it was inevitable that some teams would be happy – as they would receive a greater share – and others less so, as they would have a smaller slice.
But ultimately, as they have increasingly done in recent months, all the stakeholders found a way to come together and compromise on the document, which they agreed to in time for the early deadline of August 18th – which brought a small financial incentive.
With the 10 teams signed up for the next five years, and the regulations and cost cap defined, Formula 1 can finally embark on a new era. The new agreement also squashes any speculation that teams like Mercedes or Haas might not be around for the long term.
The hope now is that all F1 teams can develop themselves into robust operations financially while also closing the pack in terms of competitiveness that can in turn improve the racing spectacle.
Roll on 2021!