Mattia Binotto shrugs off Mercedes threat

Mercedes have been the team challenging Red Bull in recent races as opposed to Ferrari.

Ferrari have fallen off the curve in recent weeks, having not won a race since Austria back in July and now struggling to even compete with the dominant Red Bull.

Instead it has been Mercedes who have pushed Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez for the podium positions and race wins, with Lewis Hamilton being a change of tyre selection away from a potential victory in both Austin and Mexico.

The Scuderia have encountered a variety of problems that have hindered their results, including crashing in practice, in the race.

Team principal Mattia Binotto is not concerned by his team’s apparent downfall, claiming that there are elements of bad luck and inconsistency rather than a genuine problem.

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“Certainly if I look at the last races it has not always been great, but in Singapore I think we have been very competitive,” suggested Binotto.

“Japan was in the wet, and we were not as fast, but it was not a drama and certainly not in the quali. In the States, Austin, I think that in the quali we were competitive, but not as much as we would have expected in the race.

“[In Mexico] it’s a lot worse, but I don’t think it’s the same trend because Singapore competitive, Japan not too bad, USA good quali.”

Mercedes seem to have finally cracked the code with the W13, finding the performance in the car that allows their drivers to push for podiums and wins rather than languishing in the midfield like earlier in the season.

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The Silver Arrows are now only 40 points behind the Scuderia despite the gulf in pace between their cars over the majority of the season, with a couple of DNF’s or pointless finishes potentially costing Ferrari second place in the championship.

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Binotto is not concerned by the performance gap between the teams closing however, telling reporters that his team have fully focused on next year, unlike Mercedes.

“Mercedes is coming back right as they have developed the car more than we did,” he said.

“We know as well ourselves that we stopped quite early the development of that car to focus on 2023. So I’m not too concerned by the rate of development because I know, as well, when we stopped developing it.”