It is now a habit that Formula 1 teams ask themselves questions and give each other the answers, without contradicting journalists. So we bring you the Mattia Binotto of the day after it was published on the Ferrari website.
The team principal goes back to explaining what were the reasons that led the Cavallino wall to make certain strategic choices in the key moments of the British GP. The Scuderia’s number one defends his group with a sword, but makes a mistake: he could have avoided taking the example of Lewis Hamilton who did not return to the pits in Abu Dhabi with the safety car. The Englishman, in fact, lost the eighth world championship that he already had in his pocket. Knowing how it turned out in Lewis, couldn’t you have risked a little more to defend Charles’ position?
Mattia, how did you sleep last night?
“We came home very late due to the delay in the restart of the race, so I didn’t get much sleep but this morning I woke up happy. A Ferrari victory in one of the most iconic circuits on the calendar is truly something special ”.
On Sunday morning you celebrated Carlos’ 150th Grand Prix, who took his maiden F1 victory in the afternoon. Today, a day later, how do you judge his performance at Silverstone?
“My judgment on Carlos hasn’t changed since yesterday. I am satisfied with his performance, not only in the race but throughout the weekend. He is constantly improving his confidence with the car and handling skills, even in difficult conditions. The first victory was only a matter of time, we knew that from the start. Seeing him get on the top step of the podium was not only fantastic for him, but also for the whole team ”.
Charles said he was happy for Carlos and celebrated the victory together with the whole team, but his disappointment was evident. Can you put yourself in his shoes?
“I fully understand that he was disappointed. It is natural to feel this way when he is in command of the race until a few laps from the finish without being able to take home the victory. I would add that Charles’s disappointment is also ours: he wins and loses together. Nobody can be satisfied with his result, because yesterday Charles drove in an extraordinary way and once again proved his exceptional talent as a driver. He certainly deserved the victory, and had it not been for the safety car he would have won it ”.
After the race many questions that arose led to some misperceptions. Why didn’t Ferrari ask Carlos first to hand over his position to Charles in the first stint?
“For a very simple reason: at that moment it was not necessary to do it and there was still a lot of time to make that decision. For us, the priority continues to be maximizing the team result. Team orders come only when this is in jeopardy. It happened during the second stint, when we asked Carlos to give up the position because he wasn’t fast enough and our rivals were about to catch up with us ”.
The management during the safety car also generated several criticisms: why was Carlos stopped but not Charles?
“In a similar situation, common sense says to give priority to whoever is in front so that they do not lose positions on the track. There is nothing strange about our strategy. The priority was as always who is in front, in this case Charles. He had fresher tires, if we had stopped him our rivals would have opted for an opposite strategy and would have gained positions, also having almost new tires. It is the same strategy used for Lewis Hamilton in the Abu Dhabi race last year: he did not return to the pits ”.
“At the same time, with Carlos we opted for an opposite strategy so as not to miss any chances. If we hadn’t done it, putting both drivers on the same strategy, we would have risked losing the race, literally handing over the victory to our rivals ”.
Why didn’t Carlos agree to give Charles ten cars away at the restart after the safety car? Did he ignore the team’s orders?
“Absolutely no. Carlos didn’t ignore the team’s directions, he made it clear to us that he had to protect himself from our opponents, and in this way he was also protecting our advantage. We were all aligned on this. I realize that without having a complete picture of the situation, one can get the feeling that Carlos is not a team player. We think, however, that a few laps before him he had given up his position without any hesitation or complaint, clearly demonstrating that for him the team comes first.
What awaits you now?
“We have another three very busy Sundays ahead of the summer break, and as we saw at Silverstone this year each race is completely unpredictable. We will have to make sure we get on track with cars ready to face this challenge, and with a strong and united team ”.
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