Binotto claims Ferrari have been ‘disadvantaged by decisions’ as FIA considers bringing Masi back

Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto believes the teams need to be helping the race directors gain more experience in the sport to reduce inconsistencies.

Ahead of last weekend’s disastrous Azerbaijan GP which saw both Ferraris DNF, Mattia Binotto spoke out against the “inexperienced” race directors that are controlling the sport this season.

Race directors appears to be a topic that just won’t disappear, following the highly controversial end of the 2021 season.

As is well documented, Michael Masi was dropped as the sport’s race director following an unexplainable error.

The Australian failed to follow the rulebook at the Abu Dhabi season finale, which ultimately handed the championship to Max Verstappen.

It was deemed that one race director wasn’t enough for F1, with the ever-increasing calendar and international travel putting enormous strain and pressure upon one set of shoulders.

READ: Ferrari warned they could lose the championship to Red Bull in ‘the coming weeks’

With that in mind, ahead of this season it was announced that Niels Wittich and Eduardo Freitas would share the role as race director for 2022.

This has already led to plenty of criticism though, with Binotto believing that there has been “no consistency” this season.

The risk of having two directors was that they would have different styles, and different interpretations of the rulebook.

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This could become even worse in 2023, where it’s being planned for a third race director to be introduced.

The idea does in a way make plenty of sense, splitting a 23-round championship and all the travel that comes with it between three people.

However, the concern is that it will slow the race directors progress, something that both Binotto and Toto Wolff believe they need more of.

Binotto was asked pre-Baku if he would support the plan for a third race director.

“Certainly not an easy job,” Binotto admitted.

“I think when you are there and you need to sit and decide, it’s not an easy one.

“These guys need some more experience, it’s not something which you learn from the very first race. If I look at the start of the season, certainly as Ferrari we cannot be happy with that. I think often we have been disadvantaged by decisions, but that’s the way it is. We understand the difficulty.

“I think in order to make them improve, we need to help them as well. I think it has to be a collaborative, let me say, collaboration between the teams and the race directors, to make sure they understand, they improve as fast as possible.

“Because no doubt that so far in the season, sometimes there was no consistency in decisions, I think we cannot deny that. As we cannot deny it’s not an easy job. So, it will take some time. We just need to hasten it as much as possible.”

Ferrari believed that both Red Bull Racing drivers crossed the pit-exit line too early at the Monaco GP, a race which the side went on to claim a 1-3 finish.

The Mercedes boss used Monaco as his example of demonstrating that more experience was needed, however, he did admit that the directors can make mistakes just as the teams can too.

“Like Mattia said, it’s a difficult job because you’re also in the spotlight and certainly, Monaco, when you’re thrown into this weather condition, climate, and then suddenly you need to make decisions, that is very, very difficult,” Wolff said.

“I think the more races will pass, the more experience they will get, the more they will cope also with the pressure that Formula 1 brings with it.

“But they are part of Formula 1, as are the teams, as the teams make mistakes, and sometimes you really blame, because a wheels not on the car, or you get the strategy wrong, so, in the same way the race director is in the firing line. I think [it’s] the same for everyone,” the Austrian concluded.