Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto might be looking over his shoulder more than ever before, after the Italian manufacturer’s president, John Elkann, sent a warning to everybody involved with the team to “improve”.
The usually never-seen president was in the Ferrari garage at the recent Italian Grand Prix, where he watched on as Charles Leclerc missed out on a second victory at the ‘Temple of Speed’, despite having started on pole.
Max Verstappen was once again too strong for Leclerc and Ferrari, as the reigning World Champion claimed his 11th victory of the season.
The Dutchman can retain his title at the upcoming Singapore Grand Prix, one which will most likely be horrendous for Ferrari given how high the temperature and humidity usually is at the Marina Bay Circuit, which will almost certainly hurt the Italian’s fragile power unit.
Ferrari do have one of if not the strongest car on the grid; however, prioritising performance over reliability hasn’t worked for the Scuderia, especially given the fact Red Bull are particularly strong in both departments.
The Italian team has experienced too many reliability issues to win a World Championship, with Leclerc alone having missed out on victory twice due to engine failures.
Even if Ferrari had no reliability issues, their inability to execute a strong strategy would still have put them in a position where they can’t win the title.
The Italian’s have somehow managed to have an endless amount of comical strategic errors, which have again seen their drivers drop out of crucial podium positions.
Binotto has faced calls to make changes to eradicate the strategic problems but has continually rejected the need to do so.
Elkann has now spoken out on the team’s season and the job that Binotto is doing as team principal, with the president adamant that the team must “improve”.
“We 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,” warned Elkann.
“We have seen that there are still too many mistakes when it comes to reliability, driving and strategy.”
Despite all the missed opportunities, Binotto appears to still have the backing of the Ferrari hierarchy, for now.
Binotto is aware that the team needs to improve in all areas, but the Italian is still certain that the team “do not need to change people”.
“If we look at the current season, we know there are still steps which are required to be in the position to win a championship,” Binotto told Sky Sports F1.
“Overall the team did a fantastic job in developing the current car, but still there are situations needing improvement.
“The reliability – because the reliability cost us at least a couple of victories and in order to win championships you need to be reliable. Race management – strategy and pitstop areas of improvement are required.
“I think during the race weekend you may always do mistakes. I think being perfect is almost impossible, you need to take decisions on the pit wall, but we need to be the best.
“We do not need to change people, but we certainly need to change some things. The way we are communicating, the way we are getting to the process of making our decisions.. changes are required.”