The radio play from Monte Carlo is still moving the Formula 1 community two weeks later. Meanwhile, the race track has moved from the Cote d’Azur to the nearest street circuit in Baku, Azerbaijan, but the shouts of the Ferrari driving center echo. First, he was a little frantic: “Come on, Charles.” Followed by a panicked warning shout: “Stay out! Stay out!” But the potential race winner was already there and had to queue behind teammate Charles Sainz, who was called up at the same time.
The chaotic situation ruined Monaco’s long-awaited home win. Such flaws could cost him the title in the end. Leclerc’s bewilderment over crater radio highlights troubling concerns: “What the hell are we doing there?”
Ferrari finally has the best car in the field, and that is still in effect ahead of the eighth round of the world championship. But Red Bull Racing has caught up with it, and has recently outdone it. Both top teams are also concerned that Mercedes is gaining strength in its race to catch up and that a three-way fight could erupt soon. That’s why defeats like Monaco are so painful. It’s not even about prestige, but first about abstract points. If you want to become a world champion, you have to take advantage of safe opportunities. Currently. Ferrari is not just a team, it is the heart of Formula 1.
No one celebrates beautifully, no one suffers so much. When things develop again with the red racing cars, it also pleases fans who have nothing to do with the individual colors. But they always ask themselves if they can trust recovery this time around.
The question is rather: does Ferrari trust itself?
Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto has had someone else to blame for years
Mattia Binotto, 52, is not a vocalist. He speaks in a thoughtful way, sometimes seems thoughtful, and in principle Ferrari is not to blame. It’s been like this for a few years and the engineer has worked really well with it. At first he was the Chief Technology Officer, then he became the Team Leader, then the Chief Technology and Team Leader, and now he’s the Team Leader again. With his cute glasses and hard-to-tame hair, he doesn’t look like Machiavelli, but he should be able to do the necessary tricks.
Because during this time, the Scuderia fought fierce power struggles, lost two potential titles to Sebastian Vettel, used an engine that didn’t comply with the rules, achieved the worst end result in four decades, and finally entered a year off tech. With the new regulations, Ferrari is back – and Binotto is still around. The man is tough and always looking forward. He learned this from Michael Schumacher when he was a young technician. “The team is the people, the culture, the tools and the methods,” he told the BBC.
Binotto is the one who should bring the first drivers’ title since 2007 and the first Constructors’ World Championship to Maranello in 14 years, yes: he should. Even if he was inclined to set the record straight and spoke in meaningless institutional language about actually achieving his goal: “We wanted to be competitive again in 2022 and we still want to. It would be completely wrong to conclude from this that we have to become world champions.” A bit strange logic, especially in this sport where everything is taken to the extreme.
Indeed, the opportunity is as good as it has been for Ferrari for a long time, and Ferrari is unlikely to be content with piling it low now just to relieve the pressure on the team (and themselves). Still stubborn, Binotto believes he uses the best management theory to protect himself: “Becoming world champions is an entirely different matter.” Getting better, that’s it, getting better and getting better. Miscalculations and miscalculations, such as the timing in Monte Carlo, show that there is indeed room for improvement. The fact that the subsequent protest against an alleged line crossing by Red Bull drivers that failed miserably upon exiting the pits almost paints a picture of desperation.
Red Bull is far from the usual stability: Verstappen lost 36 points due to defects
In the eighth round of the World Championships, there is more than just making adjustments. After three races, Charles Leclerc was 46 points ahead of Max Verstappen, and in the past four races opponents managed to make up 55 points. Also, Red Bull Racing is far from the usual stability, Verstappen lost 36 points due to technical flaws. In the team’s classification as well, Ferrari has lost its lead in just two races and is now 36 points behind Red Bull.
Leclerc’s crash was even more dramatic: a driving error that cost him the podium at Imola, an engine failure in Barcelona, and now a breakdown in strategy has followed. Having only two wins out of five first places is a bad thing. Can the 24-year-old continue to play with a steady hand, or will Ferrari turn into a panic orchestra once again gambling away from everything? The second in general admits that the recent setback was particularly painful. “Focus” Binotto calls, “Focus on every race and every time over!” After the first rally is gone, it now needs real momentum.