Austria defeat will spur Leclerc on to take first win – Binotto

2019 Austrian Grand Prix

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Charles Leclerc will bounce back quickly from the disappointment of narrowly missing out on his main Formula 1 win for the second time this year, says Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto.

The Ferrari newcomer lost a likely win in Austria to Max Verstappen, three months after a technical fault robbed him of victory in Bahrain.

Binotto said there is “no difficulty to encourage” his driver, who is “already prepared for the next one.” He said the defeat will “give him even more boost to somehow get his first victory in F1.”

“So certainly he is sorry for the [outcome]. I think that after quali certainly he was somehow very optimistic and after as well the first laps of the race he was controlling the race and probably saw himself in a good position.

“But that’s what’s good in that sport is the chequered flag is only at the end of the race and [anything] may happen. I think he is simply looking ahead at the next races as a new challenge and he is very hungry so I’m pretty sure that sooner or late it will be his time.”

Binotto denied Ferrari had made a tactical error by having its drivers qualify on the soft tyres in Austria, which meant they had to run long second stints which in Leclerc’s case left him vulnerable to Verstappen.

“I think that has been a good choice because we are ahead and we have only to react to Valtteri [Bottas] whatever tyres we are on. And I think with the soft tyres we got a great advantage [at] the first pit stop which put us in that respect in a good position.

“If there is anything on which I regret it’s only the quali of Seb [Vettel] because certainly having Seb higher on the grid would have made things a lot easier.”

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17 comments on “Austria defeat will spur Leclerc on to take first win – Binotto”

  1. On the other hand he handily outperformed his teamate. Certainly no harm done to his reputation.

    Win will be hard to get on most tracks, maybe Mexico? Or some other super hot track. I doubt Mercedes will mess up many times.

    1. Still it was a much better weekend for Vettel overall. He did come close to taking 3rd place from Bottas maybe a lap more and podium order would have been different.

      1. forgot Vettel was let down by the mechanics running amok doing god knows what.

    2. i don’t really understand the hype about leclerc’s performance in austria. vettel was already out in q2, so leclerc’s pole time doesn’t mean anything. in race trim he was slower than vettel, and lost the race two laps before the chequered flag. his performance was average

      1. Exactly, what race did Jureo watch.

  2. Dutchguy (@justarandomdutchguy)
    4th July 2019, 8:19

    I think Leclerc will win in Belgium or Italy.
    He should have won in Bahrain.

  3. This was the first GP this season where Ferrari walked away with more points than Mercedes (30 vs 25 respectively). I don’t think there was much anyone could do about Max. For them to beat Mercedes they will need to earn about an average of about 12 points per race than Mercedes for the rest of this season.

  4. Am I the only one who thought Leclerc’s performance in the Austrian GP was not stellar? Don’t get me wrong, he drove like clockwork and made no single mistake. But the RB of Max was faster in the final laps and if Max’s overtake had not taken place in round 69, it would have been in 70, or even on the final lap. It was inevitable. The Ferrari, with Leclerc doing his utter best, was not able to defend against a surprisingly stronger Red Bull with Verstappen in it.

    If all was well, Leclerc would have driven the Ferrari Hamilton-style towards the checkered flag. It did not happen. Maybe for the best, since that is not how I like to see GPs being won.

  5. The defeat is not actually belong to Leclerc but Ferrari. The car was never good on hard tires.

  6. Wow, Binotto didn’t learn anything. Worrying stuff. His biggest line of thought mistake is that he focusses too much on Mercedes and not on their own strenght. Not the first time either. Accept it; the tyres were wrong. And mirroring Bottas cost you the win. Stop it. I am not a Ferrari fan at all, but this is just getting ridiculous

    1. It just wasn’t about mirroring Mercs but also putting Leclerc on softs in Q2.

  7. I do get the ‘spur him on’ sentiment, but at the same time each driver must be at maximum motivation for every race at all times regardless.

    I’m reminded how back in the day JV was asked if the crowd at his home town track, named after his Dad no less, would help by the tenth or two per lap that some suggest it does, to which he said no because then that would mean he wasn’t trying hard enough at the other tracks. Max said very much the same thing this weekend about the sea of orange in Austria…it’s wonderful but doesn’t create speed or he wouldn’t have been giving it his all at other tracks just because there is less orange present.

    1. Josh (@canadianjosh)
      4th July 2019, 15:39

      I caught that as well, man I bet Mercedes or Ferrari would kill to have Max in one of their cars.

      1. Ferrari would. Mercedes are good to wait a couple more years, they have Box Office and Goose.

  8. “I think that has been a good choice because we are ahead and we have only to react to Valtteri [Bottas] whatever tyres we are on.

    Such a stupid comment. Why always the need to react when you’re already doing better? Its not a strategy if you are just gonna copy what someone else does.

    Ferrari need to learn to trust in themselves and run their own race for a change.

  9. Patrick Depailler
    4th July 2019, 15:26

    LEC is just not aggressive enough to be in a top car. What a terrible signing. F1 is more about popularity and pretty faces than the grittiness it had back in the 70’s.
    and 80’s.

    Someone like PER would have held back RBR.
    Signing media darlings and other similar mistakes is killing F1.

  10. Peppe (@turbopeppino)
    5th July 2019, 17:12

    Ferrari lost the race not by running the softs at the beginning but by not going longer on the first stint. Leclerc’s tyres could have gone a decent amount of laps more than the odd 20’s they did. It’s easy to say in hindsight I know but they sure they could have had a look if Bottas could keep up a slightly faster laptime delta before stopping and then maybe let him stay out? Then, even if Red Bull’s tyre management of the hards was superior to the Ferrari, it wouldn’t have mattered. I’m sure they already looked at this in Maranello though.

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