Mattia Binotto says Scuderia Ferrari’s result in Sunday’s Qatar Grand Prix has moved them one step closer to their goal of finishing third in the Constructors’ Championship in 2021, even if both Carlos Sainz Jr. and Charles Leclerc were forced to drive cautiously throughout the race.
Sainz finished seventh and Leclerc eighth on Sunday, with both being told to be cautious to prevent any unnecessary tyre wear around the Losail International Circuit. The last time they raced on such an abrasive circuit was in the French Grand Prix where Ferrari failed to score a point as they struggled to maintain life in the tyres.
Binotto, the Team Principal at Ferrari, says the mechanics can be proud to have changed Leclerc’s chassis in time for the race without needing any kind of grid penalty, and both drivers can take credit for the way they drove as they extended their points advantage over the McLaren F1 Team to thirty-nine and a half points with only two races remaining.
“A result to be viewed in light of the championship, which has seen us take another step forward towards the goal we have set ourselves for this final part of the season,” said Binotto. “We knew we might struggle at this track in terms of tyre wear, as was the case in Paul Ricard for example.
“We therefore asked our drivers to adopt a cautious approach at all times, without taking risks while trying to make a one-stop strategy work. It was a conservative approach, but given what we saw in the closing stages, it paid off.
“The team worked well, having to deal with the strain of this being the third race in as many weekends. The mechanics did an excellent job of changing Charles’ chassis in the time allowed so that there were no grid penalties and then again worked well when the drivers came in for a double-stack pit stop.
“Now we will briefly pause for breath before aiming to finish the season on a high note.”