Mattia Binotto, the Team Principal of Scuderia Ferrari, says their first victory of 2019 will give everyone within the team the ‘energy and desire’ to go on and finish the season on a high, especially after the trials and tribulations of the first twelve races of the campaign.
Charles Leclerc secured his maiden Formula 1 triumph despite late pressure from Mercedes AMG Motorsport’s Lewis Hamilton, and with the death of close friend Anthoine Hubert during Saturday’s FIA Formula 2 feature race overshadowing the whole event.
Binotto said it was important for Ferrari to come back after the summer break with renewed focus, and the first win of the season gives them all confidence for the rest of the year.
“This is a victory that certainly gives us plenty of energy and desire to do well,” said Binotto. “After the summer break it was very important for us to return to the track focused – and to show we are competitive after a start to the season in which we lost so many opportunities.
“Compliments to Charles, who sealed his very first victory in Formula 1, and it was important to do it here not least because he and Anthoine were close friends. This is the best way to remember him. His weekend was outstanding from Friday and he truly deserved this win.”
Binotto was also pleased with Sebastian Vettel’s performance in Belgium, despite the German finishing off the podium in fourth after an enforced second pit stop due to excessive tyre degradation.
The Team Principal was happy that the four-time World Champion was able to play the team game by allowing Leclerc through without the Monegasque racer losing any time, and then defending well from Hamilton to delay the Mercedes driver enough to allow his team-mate to create a gap.
“Seb also put together a good race and he showed strong pace in the first stint, but we brought forward his pit stop to protect his position,” admitted Binotto. “This meant his tyres had degraded a lot towards the end of the race.
“He helped his team-mate and he showed yet again that he is willing to work for the good of the team. Now we head to Monza, we are raring to go and we want to perform just as well at our home race.”