2022 has ended up being a massively underwhelming season for Ferrari, especially given the fact they won two of the opening three races of the season.
Following Charles Leclerc’s second victory of the season at the Australian Grand Prix, it looked to all the world that the Maranello-based team were the side to beat this season.
Everything that could’ve gone wrong has gone wrong for Ferrari, with a mixture of driver errors, reliability problems, and comical strategic blunders, leaving the Italians 139 points behind Red Bull in the Constructors’ Championship.
Leclerc has incredibly slipped to 116 points behind Max Verstappen, who has staggeringly won 10 of the last 13 races and can wrap up his second World Championship at this weekend’s Singapore Grand Prix.
So, what do Ferrari need to not only win consistently but also to return to their former championship winning days?
Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto was asked that very question, where he revealed they are missing something from the “Schumacher era”.
“That winning mentality that was there in the Schumacher era and which pushed you to do better after every victory,” Binotto told the Italian version of Motorsport.com.
Binotto worked for Ferrari’s engine department when seven-time World Champion Michael Schumacher joined the famous Italian team and was even there when the German claimed his first victory at the 1996 Spanish Grand Prix.
“It was also my first win,” he said.
“When I heard the anthem I realised what it means to be Ferrari.
“Then we started winning championships in 1999 and 2000.”
Since taking on the team principal role at the start of 2019, Binotto has come under mounting pressure, none more so than this season.
The Italian has continued to maintain that the team don’t need a number one driver and that no personnel needs to be changed, despite multiple victory-costing strategic errors.
Binotto is aware that “there is still a step to go” but wants it to be recognised how far the team has come over the last couple of years.
“We come from very difficult seasons, from sixth place in the 2020 constructors championship,” Binotto acknowledged.
“These were years that marked us, because we suffered pressure and criticism. And in a way they shaped us.
“[But] it’s no longer enough to do your homework well,” he admitted.
“To win, you have to keep progressing and improving, and to do that we have to give 120 per cent if not 130 per cent.
“We promised we would be competitive again and we have kept that promise.
“But what I want to say is that between having a performing car and drivers and the ability to consolidate the ability to materialise every situation, there is still a step to go.”