Ferrari recipe patience

They support Binotto, they hope to get closer to the podium this year and fight for titles in 2022. Sainz will face challenges, but he gets tanned.


Mattia Binotto's tone has changed in this 2020, his evaluations are colder and more forceful, he is no longer the lukewarm boss who justified almost any mistake, human or mechanical, as a necessary learning to win again. Ferrari is suffering because the car they have built for this season and that will have to be reused in 2021 does not give the level, it is far from Mercedes and Red Bull and it is not even superior to Racing Point or McLaren. The backward step is explained by two keys: a wrong redesign in search of aerodynamic load that has degenerated into excessive air resistance and a power unit that has lost features to adapt to the FIA regulations, abandoning the gray of the regulations that both frequented in 2019. The summary: a car a second slower than its predecessor, the worst that could happen.

The Maranello factory works in a hurry to meet deadlines and improve the base of the SF1000, something essential to get to aspire to podiums this season and next (a good part of the components will be frozen). New front spoiler, brand new parts in almost every area and the hope that what they test in the wind tunnel will start to behave the same on the asphalt. Can the situation be redirected? At least the disaster can be made up by approaching the podiums during the season, and that's what Charles Leclerc, Sebastian Vettel and the head of everything, John Elkann, president of Fiat, trust. "Binotto has total confidence, he was with Todt and Schumacher. We must do our utmost in this year and next to be competitive again in 2022," says the president in 'La Gazzetta dello Sport'. You will not be taken off the ship at the epicenter of the storm, but expect a positive progression from now.

Those who know Ferrari best assure this medium that it is developing a solid project, correcting many of the weaknesses in the factory for years and amending errors under the direction of Mattiacci or Arrivabene, and that it takes patience to settle. In recent weeks, a new performance director, Enrico Cardile, was appointed, assisted by the experienced Rory Byrne and the French engineer of Spanish origin, David Sánchez, one of the architects of the good car of 2018). This division is focused on the medium term, on the ambitious rule change that in 2022 can shake the grid and balance the competition with completely new cars. With the investigation into its engine, the FIA has limited them in that power struggle against Mercedes, it is evident that they have lost political weight in a context more friendly to the German firm. But the rectors of motorsport are the first interested in the fight being open from the new regulation.

The valuable experience of Carlos Sainz

On the asphalt, Vettel will leave and Charles Leclerc has a contract until 2024 with the hope of establishing himself within the project now and fighting for titles later. As of 2021, it is Carlos Sainz's turn, a difficult Ferrari will be found. "It is Real Madrid of Formula 1", say those who know, "and you have to go" in any circumstance. The 25-year-old from Madrid laughs when asked if he regrets exchanging a promising McLaren for an uncertain Ferrari. He has experience with demanding single-seaters (they were all his Toro Rosso, the 2018 Renault or even the MCL34) and is an important asset when focusing on the development of a car and contributing from within, asserting himself in front of the engineers. Perhaps he will have more voice than Leclerc in this area, and with the Monegasque away from the podiums, for now, his position will not be as dominant. It should be emphasized that the Italians have not fought for titles since 2012 and that two champions, Alonso and Vettel, have left empty. And that both Red Bull and Mercedes roamed that middle zone in the past, before beginning their years of success. Only one message comes out of Maranello, patience, and they will have two suitable pilots to grow.

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