Formula 1

Ferrari’s Mattia Binotto: “It was a difficult race that didn’t live up to our expectations”

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Credit: Scuderia Ferrari Press Office

After the positive Saturday for Scuderia Ferrari that saw Charles Leclerc secure his second pole position of the season, Sunday’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix did not live up to the expectations of the Maranello-based squad, according to Team Principal Mattia Binotto.

Leclerc led the opening two laps at the Baku City Circuit before being passed by Lewis Hamilton, and he also lost track position to both Max Verstappen and Sergio Pérez.  Unfortunately for the Monegasque racer, he was also jumped by both Sebastian Vettel and Pierre Gasly during the pit stops and was running sixth when Verstappen crashed out and caused a late-race red flag.

At the restart he moved up to fourth thanks to Hamilton’s mistake, but Leclerc was unable to make a last lap move on Gasly stick for third, and he was forced to fall in behind the Frenchman until the chequered flag.

Team-mate Carlos Sainz Jr. also had a race to forget, with the Spaniard having an early trip up an escape road that left him floundering down the order.  The safety car for Lance Stroll’s crash and the red flag for Verstappen’s gave him the chance to make up ground, and he crossed the line in eighth.

The result moved Ferrari up into third place in the Constructors’ Championship, but Binotto says the team will need to be on the top of their game in every area if they are to reach their goals in 2021.

“It was a difficult race that didn’t live up to our expectations, given how qualifying went yesterday,” said Binotto.  “We know that, in order to reach our goals, we not only have to improve our car, we must also do everything perfectly in every area and that wasn’t the case today.

“On the plus side this weekend, we took our second pole position of the season and we have moved up to third in the Constructors’ classification. The gap to those behind is small and definitely smaller than it could have been.

“However, we have to move on from this and see it as further motivation to improve in every aspect of our work.”

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