Binotto denies Canadian GP is a ‘must-win’ as tensions between Leclerc and Ferrari could emerge

After a double DNF in Azerbaijan, Ferrari now sit 80 points behind Red Bull and only 38 ahead of Mercedes.

Ferrari’s season of promise is rapidly turning into one of huge disappointment, after the team suffered a monumental double DNF at the 2022 Azerbaijan GP.

Carlos Sainz retired first out of 4th place early on, having suffered a hydraulic issue which leaves the Spaniard well off the top of the championship.

Pole-sitter Charles Leclerc was forced into retirement not that much later in the race, after a power unit failure saw the Monegasque driver retire from the race lead for the second time in three races.

Leclerc’s DNF saw him drop to third in the Drivers’ Championship; now 34 points behind Max Verstappen.

To make matters even worse, Ferrari have fallen well behind Red Bull Racing in the Constructors’ standings.

The Italian team are now 80 points behind Red Bull, and only 38 points ahead of the slow yet incredibly reliable Mercedes F1 Team.

READ: ‘Is it really worth it?’ Sainz urges the FIA to ‘act quickly’ on safety risk

However, despite the reliability turmoil the team are currently facing, team principal Mattia Binotto insists that they aren’t looking at the championship currently.

“It’s not something we are looking at, honestly,” revealed Binotto after the Azerbaijan GP.

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“We are focused on our results and focused on trying to get the most out of our race weekends, trying always to improve ourselves.

“We know that to get to the top there is still a gap. I think we’ve proved that we had some problems in the last race and we are simply focused on trying to improve ourselves, race-by-race.

“My only concern today is, what are we lacking?” questioned the Ferrari boss.

Ferrari are in a race against time if they want to rejuvenate their title campaign, especially ahead of the Canadian GP which will most likely suit their rivals better.

Before they can challenge Red Bull though, Binotto knows that they must fix their ongoing issues.

“We had reliability issues [in Azerbaijan],” Binotto acknowledged.

READ: Ferrari cancel imminent ERS upgrade after fresh reliability woes

“Charles’ start was not perfect, we had an issue with the pit-stops, we have different issues at the last events, so there is still much to progress.

“I’m pretty sure that the others as well have problems or have not always made the right or best choices. But that’s not what we care about, we only care and focus on ourselves.”

Many have now asked whether the Canadian GP is a “must-win” for the famous red team, Binotto though is remaining very open-minded on the topic.

“I don’t think it is a must-win, at all,” Binotto insisted.

“We will be focused race-by-race [and] try to optimise our potential.”