Ferrari chairman comments on Mattia Binotto’s future as he fires warning about ‘mistakes’

Ferrari trail Red Bull by 135 points in the championship heading into the 2022 Italian Grand Prix.

Ferrari chairman, John Elkann, has affirmed his belief in team principal Mattia Binotto, but he warned him that mistakes cannot persist.

The Scuderia had been miles away from the front of the grid in the two years before this season, particularly in 2020, but their fighting resolve still took Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel to three podiums between them that year.

Another five followed last season, four of them from Carlos Sainz, but they had still not won a race since the 2019 Singapore Grand Prix.

That changed when Leclerc led home Sainz for a one-two in Bahrain, before Max Verstappen took the win at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

READ: Charles Leclerc addresses Mattia Binotto departure rumours

A crash for Sainz ended his day early in Melbourne, but Leclerc took hus second victory of the season, extending his chamoionship lead.

But things have been difficult since thenm partly due to the performance improvement of the Red Bull, which has guided Max Verstspprn and Sergio Pee to 11 wins in 15 races this season.

The Ferrari drivers have taken one win a piece in the last 12, and there have been multiple different reasons for thir slmp.

The most glaring one has been strategic wrrors on the pit wall, while reliability failures and a couple of driver wrrors have crept in too, but the strategy team has been under the most scrutiny.

Article continues below

Ultimately, it always starts at the top, to calls have been made for Binotto to lose his job and let someone else take over, but Elkann prefers to show solidarity in the face of adversity.

However, the American wants to see everyone’s performance pick up going into the team’s homw race this weekend.

“We have great faith in Mattia Binotto and appreciate everything he and all our engineers have done, but there is no doubt that the work in Maranello, in the garage, on the pit wall and at the wheel needs to improve,” Elkann told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“We must continue to make progress and that goes for the mechanics, the engineers, the drivers and obviously, the entire management team, including the team principal.

“We have seen that there are still too many mistakes when it comes to reliability, driving and strategy.

“Putting our trust in Binotto and his team was the right decision and it has paid off. 

“Thanks to them we are competitive and winning again, but I am not satisfied because I think we can always do better.”

Elkann is pleased to see that the Italian team are able to win races again, and he believes that, in Leclerc and Sainz, Ferrari have the best driver pairing on the grid at present.

“Our first goal was to be competitive, if you are not, then you have nowhere to go, whereas you can always work on reliability,” he explained.

“That’s why I believe that before 2026 Ferrari will once again win the Constructors’ and Drivers’ titles, with Charles Leclerc in pole position.

“We are lucky to have two great drivers, probably the strongest pairing in Formula 1.”

Leclerc took pole for the Italian Grand Prix ahead of Verstappen and Sainz, but the Dutchman will start fourth due to penalties, while Sainz is at the back.

Sergio Perez, who qualified fourth, takes a 10-place penalty for Sunday’s main event.

“It’s amazing,” Leclerc said after he got out of the car on Saturday.

READ: Revealed: Who has the highest straight-line speed at Monza?

“It wasn’t an easy qualifying session, I knew that there was quite a bit of potential in the car, but didn’t put everything together.

“I knew that in this last lap in Q3, I had to put everything together, and I managed to do it so very happy with the lap, very happy with the performance.

“It’s been a great weekend until now, the feeling with the car is amazing, and I really hope that we can do just like in 2019 [win the race] tomorrow.”