‘That’s no longer possible today’: Ex-Ferrari boss gives verdict as Mattia Binotto faces the sack

Ferrari have lost a number of races through their mistakes this season.

Former Ferrari sporting director, Cesare Fiorio, does not believe current team principal Mattia Binotto is to blame for the problems hitting the Scuderia at the moment, but he does concede his compatriot needs to act fast.

Binotto was head of the technical department when he was appointed as team principal in 2019 having been part of the Ferrari company for over 20 years.

The Italian replaced the departing Maurizio Arrivabane after the Scuderia failed to bring home the title in less than five years of his reign, so the pressure was on.

Ferrari F1 boss Mattia Binotto.v1

READ: Ex-Ferrari sporting director says Mattia Binotto wasn’t meant to be team principal

Sadly, Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc took just three wins between them in 2019 with a disappointing car, but their results might have improved had it not been for some indecisiveness on the pit wall.

Just eight podiums followed in 2020 and 2021 with a combination of Vettel, Leclerc and Carlos Sainz, but the Maranello-based team have got back to winning ways in 2022.

Leclerc won two of the opening three races of the season, with Sainz following his team-mate home for a one-two in the season opener.

However, just two more wins have followed since then, and this has been down to a combination of factors.

One of which is that Red Bull have simply been exceptional this year; they won six in a row with Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez from the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix to the Canadian Grand Prix.

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However, Ferrari have been architects of their own downfall at times, with a mixture of driver errors, reliability failures and strategical blunders getting in the way.

Leclerc lost wins in Spain, Baku and potentially Canada – where he got an engine penalty – due to poor reliability, while Sainz made key errors in Melbourne and Barcelona, costing himself podiums.

Both Leclerc and Sainz retired from the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, and the Spaniard found himself out of the Austrian Grand Prix as Leclerc won.

That took place a week after an error on strategy had cost the Monegasque victory while he was leading in Silverstone, but Sainz picked up the pieces to grab his maiden win having started on pole for the first time.

More issues on the pit wall had taken place in Monaco on Leclerc’s side of the garage in Monaco and, in Budapest before the summer break, a win turned into a P6 for the 24-year-old following a bizarre call.

However, mistakes in Australia, Imola and Barcelona have been costly to Sainz, while Leclerc span in Italy before crashing out in France.

While the Scuderia have one of the quickest cars on the grid, they are having trouble converting that into race wins, and this is something Binotto must address.

“Basically, you have to concede Mattia Binotto has made Ferrari a team that can win every race,” Fiorio said in conversation with La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“Binotto was a great engineer, first as an engine specialist, then as technical director, but his job today is very different. 

“Something is obviously wrong at Ferrari, mistakes are made, Binotto has to get to the bottom of it – that’s his biggest challenge now.”

READ: ‘We should really congratulate Mattia’: Ex-Ferrari driver defends Binotto after Monaco blunder

In the early 2000s, Fiorio observes that the Italian giants had such a good car that mistakes were inconsequential as Michael Schumacher won five titles in a row under the leadership of Jean Todt and Ross Brawn.

However, such is the competition from Red Bull that this is no longer possible, so Ferrari cannot afford to make mistakes.

“Mattia now has to find solutions so that the team works better,” explained Fiorio.

“In today’s Formula 1, everything has to work almost perfectly to win, that was different at Ferrari in the days of Todt and Schumacher. 

“Ferrari sometimes had such a blatantly superior car that one or the other mistake could be concealed, that’s no longer possible today.”

Inaki Rueda is the man charged with heading up the strategy department at Ferrari, and Binotto publicly defended him as well as the rest of his team after the Hungarian Grand Prix.