Mattia Binotto says Scuderia Ferrari can be happy with their performance over the opening six races of the 2022 FIA Formula 1 World Championship season, but they cannot be content with their results from the Spanish Grand Prix.
Binotto, the Team Principal at Ferrari, said before the season began that they would not be able to access their position in the grid before the first six races of the season, but they can be pleased that they have a car that is quick and is being developed in the right manner.
However, race number six at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya saw Charles Leclerc retire with a power unit issue whilst comfortably in the lead, while an early spin and subsequent damage saw Carlos Sainz Jr. end down in fourth in his home Grand Prix.
“After a result like this, I think we should look at the positive aspects,” said Binotto. “I said that after the first six races, we would be able to assess the performance levels and hierarchy among the teams and today, we can say that we have built a good car and we have done a fine job of developing it.”
Binotto says the issue that affected Leclerc cost the Monegasque racer an almost certain victory in Spain, and they will be doing all they can to identify the cause of the problem so it doesn’t happen again.
“Clearly, we’re not happy with today’s result,” said Binotto. “It’s disappointing to have had a problem with the power unit that robbed Charles of what would have been a well-deserved win, especially as the team in Maranello has done an excellent job of developing the power unit this season.
“Now we will find out what the problem was that stopped him.”
Binotto believes Sainz is not yet completely comfortable behind the wheel of the other F1-75, and they will be doing everything they can to make him more at ease with the car in the upcoming races, starting this weekend with the Monaco Grand Prix.
“Carlos finished fourth, coming back from a difficult situation,” he said. “Probably, he still does not get quite the feeling he wants from the F1-75 and it’s up to us to help him become completely comfortable with it.
“He is tenacious, he studies the situation and never gives up and so I am sure that he will soon come to feel really at ease in the car.”
The one thing that Binotto says Ferrari can be pleased with was the way they were competitive at a track that has been traditionally one they’ve struggled on it the past.
“The Barcelona track is demanding in many ways and it has usually been something of a bogey circuit for us, but the F1-75 was the quickest car on track yesterday and today, Charles was comfortably in the lead, running at a very good race pace,” Binotto added.
“Unfortunately, these things can happen, to us and to the competition, but given how many races are left this season, I’d say we have seen that we can fight for the wins in the upcoming Grands Prix, starting with Monaco, Charles’ home race and luckily, we only have to wait until next Sunday.”