Mattia Binotto, Ferrari, Red Bull Ring, 2019

Ferrari “ashamed” F1 teams voted down plan to bring back 2018 tyres

2019 Austrian Grand Prix

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Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto hit out at rival Formula 1 teams who voted against a proposal to bring back last year’s tyre compounds.

The proposal, which Ferrari supported, attracted the support of five of the 10 teams when it was put to a vote on Friday. A majority of seven was needed to approve it.

Binotto said F1 had enjoyed a better race in Austria because there was closer competition between the front running teams, and that bringing back last year’s rubber would have closed the field up further.

“Obviously today it has been a good battle,” said Binotto after Sunday’s race. “Normally you’ve got good battles when you do not have a car which is over-performing, so this weekend has been great in that respect.

“[But] I think we missed a great opportunity this weekend on the tyres decision. I think the entire F1, we should have done something. Sometimes we are discussing a lot and we are not acting.

“So I still feel really ashamed that we didn’t change the specification of tyres for the rest of the season because that would have been a great opportunity to somehow try to close the field.”

Tyre, Red Bull Ring, 2019
Pirelli: Going back to 2018 tyres could be bad for safety and racing
However McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl, who opposed reintroducing last year’s tyres, took yesterday’s lively race as an indication the teams were correct not to dump this year’s tyres.

“It was a fantastic race to watch for Formula 1 fans today which I think was really necessary after all the discussions we had in the last weeks,” he said. “And I think it also confirms that we need to be very careful in the short term measures or actions in trying to fix something.

As I said in the press conference on Friday we have an issue which is a lot bigger which is the speed gap between the top teams and the midfield teams

“That is something we need to focus on to get that right for ’21, and to not soften these proposals which on the table now again in the next three months because of various conflicting inputs from the different teams with their own agendas.”

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Author information

Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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41 comments on “Ferrari “ashamed” F1 teams voted down plan to bring back 2018 tyres”

  1. Its getting easier to hate Binotto as the time passes by, he is out of his depths with the current job.

    1. He knows his role well… Ferrari is like that. I don’tnt like it, change it so we can win.

      I’m ashamed they even considered it. Changing something so essential in a car midway through the season is mental.

      Besides, it could well tip the balance to another team and the racing would not improve at all. Thinking of 2013 when they changed the tyres. What happened next? Red Bull swept the floor with everyone.

    2. Chaitanya, before the recent Austrian GP, we were seeing some fans suggesting that they should change the tyres in the hope that it might peg Mercedes back, or spreading conspiracy theories about Pirelli changing the tyres to their current spec to help Mercedes out.

      Now, I suspect that the recent race in Austria means that most will be setting those thoughts to one side for now – however, if we then go back to seeing Mercedes winning several races again, no doubt we will start hearing those complaints and suggestions start up again.

    3. Why would someone hate Binotto? Ferrari stategy team, that I understand but, the team just got 2 wins taken away from them after 2 inconsistent decisions from f1. The priorities are sponsors, Mercedes and RB are 2 sponsor teams, f1 can’t afford to ire

      The vote was never going to pass, although Mercedes only has 3 teams (poor racing point), mclaren decided that these tyres suit their mercedes looking car, and probably renault was the decider.

      1. As a team principal it is his job to keep the team(drivers, engineers, strategists, etc.) in check and not let them run amok. Also those 2 stewards decision weren’t inconsistent at all, and joining drivers in temper tantrum instead of keeping them under leash shows how much he is not suitable for job. Now he is throwing tantrum over 2018 tyres being voted out of contention. Arrivabene was much better at managing this team of drunk schizophrenics and even keep drivers in check.

  2. Seeking solutions without, instead of fixing problems within.

    “So I still feel really ashamed that we didn’t change the specification of tyres for the rest of the season because that would have been a great opportunity to somehow try to close the field.”

    I truly hope his choice of the word “ashamed” is a lost-in-translation issue, because if it is not, then it is quite a poor choice. A more appropriate use of the word would be in describing how ashamed we fans feel of Ferrari, when one of the vaunted names in F1 – often being described as synonymous with F1 itself – cannot put together a championship contending team for years.

    Ever since Vettel joined Ferrari I’ve tried to improve my opinion of them, but they just make it. So. Darn. Difficult. to like them.

    1. @phylyp that was the first thing I thought, it was the first word that popped into his head

      That’s quite common for non-native speakers

      1. Thanks @johnmilk – that makes a lot of sense, and Binotto wouldn’t be that tactless. @panagiotism-papatheodorou offers an alternative, that what he meant was actually “disappointed”, which would be much more appropriate.

        1. What if he meant to say “it’s a shame that…” ? I have witnessed many non-native English speakers confusing being ashamed and this one, while they’re so different.

        2. @phylyp @johnmilk I thought the same—assumed he meant “I feel it’s a shame,” rather than “I feel ashamed.”

          1. @markzastrow I think you just got it spot on

          2. @markzastrow

            You’re probably right. There was probably some of it lost in translation. As in, “it’s a shame” for not going back to last year’s tyres… not to be confused with “shameful” behaviour shown by Ferrari.

    2. Probably just poorly phrased. Perhaps something like “its a shame”.

    3. @phylyp (also @johnmilk, @markzastrow, @todfod and @panagiotism-papatheodorou)

      I truly hope his choice of the word “ashamed” is a lost-in-translation issue

      For avoidance of doubt, he was speaking in English and I transcribed it so there was no translation involved.

      Funnily enough when I first did the transcription I had much the same thought as you – that he’d meant ‘a shame’ rather than ‘ashamed’ – so I went back and checked the recording several times before publishing this. The recording is very clear – he didn’t say anything like “it’s a shame”. I’m fully satisfied the quote above is accurate or I wouldn’t have run it at all, much less put it in the headline.

      Incidentally, for anyone who’s ever wondered why you often see teams’ PR officers brandishing voice recorders whenever team members talk to the media, this is why – it’s so they can check their record against what is reported.

      1. Thank you for clarifying, Keith! I still wonder if – because he likely thinks in Italian – him speaking in English is contributing to the problem. Maybe he ought to speak in Italian and have a translator present.

      2. @keithcollantine that was never in doubt

        I’m not a native English speaker, and at times I struggled to find the proper word to express myself, fortunately I believe I don’t usually have that problem as often. Binotto started to speak to the media more regularly this year, my idea is that he is still adjusting and transitioning from an all Italian environment into a more English.

        A bad choice of word maybe, and probably he doesn’t understood the weight of the word when he said it (the same thing happens to me with cursing, somehow they just don’t feel like something bad)

      3. @keithcollantine we meant bad translation in binotto’s head.

    4. @phylyp Changing tyres mid season ruined 2012 and 2013 but you could say it has happened every single as Pirelli chooses to elect only the harder compounds down the season, right drom 2011 that was a problem.

      It’s hard to support Ferrari because everyone in the press is biased against them, they are not based in the UK. I read some laughable remarks about Ferrari when their 2 opponents are guilty of far worse, hard to see right when you have so much bad propaganda, starting with sky sports, why do you think they don’t speak to SKY? They used a scheduled interview on sky italia to try and get Arrivabene fired back in 2017, Arrivabene had only said that Vettel needed to relax and trust the team but sky twisted it, poorly translated it and then rushed to drive a story to hurt Ferrari so this would help Lewis.
      Ferrari are no worse than the other top teams, however they have a perception problem that is unsolvable even if this team delivered the first 2 British f1 champions, at a time Enzo was criticized for hiring foreign drivers when nobody else did so.

  3. GtisBetter (@)
    1st July 2019, 7:54

    So he is ashamed at teams who vote for self interest, while self interest is just what Ferrari wants with the tyre change? What a hypocrit. Also, the racing was good, because Mercedes couldn’t do anything. Next race it most likely will be business as usual with Mercedes dominating.

  4. DAllein (@)
    1st July 2019, 8:05

    Yeah… and those tyres would have fallen apart on Lap 5, so everyone would have to crawl around for the majority of the race.

    1. DAllein (@)
      1st July 2019, 8:07

      And of course Verstappen probably wouldn’t have caught Leclerc…

  5. And the fans are ashamed you tried, Mattia.

    1. 😂😂🤣🤣 hope he reads this!

  6. Panagiotis Papatheodorou (@panagiotism-papatheodorou)
    1st July 2019, 9:05

    I think his English is not great in this occasion. Ashamed is the wrong word and I don’t think he means that. I think “disappointed” is a much better term but it is lost in translation.

  7. Ferrari boss ashamed that democracy works to veto helping his team out. So how does he feel about his own team’s unilateral veto?

    1. Exactly, if the roles were reversed and the vote was going to happen there is no doubt Ferrari would have used their veto.

  8. If Ferrari cant beat Mercedes (or Red Bull) with the Millions more in prize money/Bonus they get, I don’t see how changing the tyres is going to help them.

    1. Maybe it’s better for Ferrari to fix their strategy and pitstop issues if they want to win a race this year

    2. @sjm how naive. I guess the comment section does not realise there are racing teams and sponsors. Rb and Mercedes are sponsors and so is to a certain extent renault. Rb and mercedes have more money than ferrari. People are deriding the only competitive real team in f1.

  9. The typical attitude of bad sportsmen. Ferrari can’t accept other teams are doing better, so they want the perceived advantage taken away from Mercedes. It’s time Ferrari accepted they have deep rooted problems that go back 60 years to the days of John Surtees.

    This episode shows why LM are wrong to allow Ferrari to keep their veto and undeserved extra money. This is why every time they lose a championship or race, I have a good laugh. Carry on Losing Ferrari, it’s good for F1.

  10. I found some music for Binotto!

    1. @skipgamer – I just knew it would be the world’s smallest violin :)

  11. I can start to understand why Ferrari stopped talking to the media in recent years, they’re absolutely terrible at it.

  12. I would suggest the old saying ‘a bad workman always blames his tools’. Get to grips with designing a good car and keeping up with the rules like other teams, instead of bleeting and wanting to revert to old rules. Even those didn’t sort out Ferrari’s problems. they are becoming a laughing stock with all the money they have. It’s time they started to developing a team spirit like Mercedes and Red Bull, instead of hitting the self-destruct button every 5 minutes. Maybe this is their Plan A, B or F.

  13. The only shame here is Ferrari trying to change regulations so that they can win again. I honestly wish they did change back to the 2018 tyres so we could watch Ferrari fail despite getting what they want.

  14. Unless it’s something related to safety i.e track runoffs curbs etc the teams should have absolutely no say/vote in the technical regulations, there needs to be a like it or lump it attitude, absolute neutrality. Completely sick of hearing teams whine about regulations to try to gain some kind of an advantage.

    It’s literally the most unsporting thing possible.

  15. What he said is right as the only team benefit from new tyres is mercedes but as usual f1 is not only about performance there are many other factors and politics.

  16. How about doing a better job, Mattia?

  17. Seidl’s a voice of reason in Formula 1 since his comeback, I find myself agreeing with everything he says.

    1. @emu55 the decision suits mclaren…

  18. Given the track temperature, the blistering would have been insane– which is exactly why the new tires were introduced.

    Ferrari should be ashamed that with all their resources and experience, they can’t get these tires to work properly even after being told sometime last season that they were coming.

    I’d say Red Bull should be equally ashamed, but Marko and Horner have no shame.

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