Start, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 2019

Ferrari must start converting pole positions into wins – Binotto

2019 Mexican Grand Prix

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Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto says the team must halt its three-race streak of taking pole position and failing to win.

The team’s third consecutive defeat from pole position on Sunday was the first time this has happened to any F1 team for six years. Despite this, Binotto found positives to draw from the weekend.

“I think obviously now we can’t be happy for the result of today,” he said following the race on Sunday. “But I think overall as a team, we should be happy for the weekend.

“We got another pole. I think we got a good pace in the race. And that’s on a type of circuit like Mexico, which is very similar to Hungary, where you need the maximum downforce.

“That is simply showing that we’ve done improvements since then. Great improvements. Today we also have to battle and to fight for the win, which was not certainly the case in Hungary.”

Ferrari’s last three results

RussiaSebastian Vettel3Retired
Charles Leclerc13
JapanSebastian Vettel12
Charles Leclerc26
MexicoSebastian Vettel22
Charles Leclerc14

Binotto expects the team to be in contention for victory in this weekend’s race at the Circuit of the Americas, where it won last year.

“Our objective is to win and we we’ve got I think the opportunity and possibility to do it,” he said. “Let’s try now at least to start on pole and win and not start on pole and not winning.

“That’s something we are hoping [for],” Binotto added, “but I’m pretty sure we can do it, yes.”

Ferrari have taken nine pole positions and scored three race wins – two for Charles Leclerc and one for Sebastian Vettel – from the 18 races so far this year.

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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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20 comments on “Ferrari must start converting pole positions into wins – Binotto”

  1. Third time in a row Ferrari snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.

    1. Signor Binotto is extremely gifted in the art of stating the B. Obvious.

    2. Lol.
      Simple, fire Inaki Rueda.
      When Ferrari was the underdog, Italy Belgium and Singapore they chose the right strategy, the only strategy, undercut 1 pit stop. As soon as they realised they are obliged to win, they’ve imploded like a quasar.

      1. It’s obvious to everyone except Ferrari for some bizarre reason.

        I wonder why. No one else with the balls for the job?

    3. What do you expect from a team that has forgotten how to win? Any team that consistently gives a better strategy to the lesser capable and slower driver is bound to fail anyways.

  2. There are three more races to iron out the details for 2020. This one has been a transition year at Ferrari, with new management, new driver and new car philosophy. Leclerc is improving a lot, the car is improving a lot, Binotto seems to have tighter hands on the wheel. They had moments between the drivers that I hope they used as an occasion to decide what to do in the future. Now the elephant in the room is strategy: Ferrari is incredibly weak in that field, I can’t believe that Mattia is not aware of this. I don’t know if they’re waiting the winter for a change in that department but I really hope they’ll do something before Melbourne; it’s the only missing puzzle piece to return to compete for the championships.

  3. Well there is a radical concept.
    “We got pole … do you think we should try to win the race as well?”

    I am convinced that you have the drivers Mr Binotto but your strategists are either buffoons or working for your opponents.
    Keep the drivers and the pit guys. Get medieval on the strategy dudes.

  4. Hmm, if it’s a streak then it’s already a bit late to be reacting. Basically Ferrari have had a faster qualifying car and a slightly slower (just slightly) race car. That means good driving and good strategy to maintain the lead over the race distance. But they’ve had to handle that strategy while dealing with their other big issue: Leclerc or Vettel? To be honest, it’s understandable that their race strategies have been non-optimal while their senior driver has been battling to reassert his place as de facto number 1 in the team. Which incidentally he seem to have achieved (at what overall cost to the team, who knows). The big question is how this translates to next year, both in terms of car performance and in terms of their drivers.

    1. @david-br I don’t disagree, but the other factor is that while Ferrari sat their particularly initially giving the nod to SV only to find CL was ‘on it’, LH and the dominant Mercedes took the lion’s share of the points, with little question as to who was getting the nod. That to me exacerbated the driver status situation at Ferrari, who ended up trying to share duties between drivers when they likely expected an SV/LH duel for the season. Ferrari, famous for their one-rooster philosophy, found themselves with two, while there is only one at dominant Mercedes.

      So in terms of next year, yeah it raises big questions. I’m sure they wish they had just one rooster, but it seems they don’t. I think their best hope would be that they dominate with the car and lock up the front row ala Mercedes since the hybrid era began, and that way they can have their two roosters and keep Mercedes’ one rooster behind them.

      1. @robbie Agreed. I think it’s still an open question. I’m surprised that Vettel’s push of Hamilton onto the grass (sprinting down the start/finish straight in top gear) wasn’t penalized (OK, not that surprised) or even really mentioned (more so). What was that about?! Really dangerous. But moving beyond the fact itself, that showed that Vettel was driving too aggressively, presumably to make up for the fact Leclerc had qualified ahead in Mexico, reversing Vettel’s own reversal of the seasonal trend. That’s a sign of tensions and incidents still ahead. I’m impressed Seb fought back this season and found pace again, but I’m not convinced, personally, that he’s Ferrari’s best option in a title fight. At the same time Leclerc’s decision to toughen up his own driving could be problematic too. At least Ferrari are interesting again…

        1. I’m surprised that Vettel’s push of Hamilton onto the grass (sprinting down the start/finish straight in top gear) wasn’t penalized (OK, not that surprised) or even really mentioned (more so). What was that about?! Really dangerous.

          Lap1 racing incident rule went out of the window. So, when do we apply that rule, and when do we look in the other way?!

          1. @mg1982 Not sure what you mean exactly. A ‘Lap 1 racing incident’ is when two drivers are competing for the same space and it’s impossible to establish with much certainty that one person was to blame. In this case, it’s another issue. There was no need for Vettel to crowd out Hamilton, he wasn’t competing for space at a corner or trying to overtake, he was deliberately (or unintentionally he claimed) forcing a rival off track. When Rosberg did that to Hamilton in Spain, the loss of grip meant Hamilton flew back on track and took both of them out. In this case, they were at higher speed with more cars directly behind them. However, with Masi’s policy of ‘nothing happened so no problem’ (until something happens) I was surprised they even investigated. But that doesn’t mean it was an OK move.

            My wider point was that had Vettel picked up a (justifiable) penalty for the lunge – remember, it used to be a standard start for him during his Red Bull days, sweeping across track to block a rival, sometimes with collisions ensuing – then they’d be a question mark again over his capacity to lead the team.

          2. @mg1982 The lap 1 mitigation is only for when 3 drivers go through a corner or something. Not when one driver simply runs the other off on the straight! Seriously! What are they playing? Ping pong?

            And then Vettel says he didn’t “see” Hamilton. Like the first time he hit the side of his car wasn’t enough indication that there was a car to his left. So he just keeps on pushing further to the left.

            If we didn’t know Vettel is such a liar about incidents, we’d have to fear for his general senses.

  5. Even a group of untrained monkeys will be better at doing job than the strategist hired by this overglorified midfield team.

  6. It doesn’t matter what strategy Ferrari employ if their car is set up for pole positions and not races, they’re always going to go backwards.

    1. @emu55

      They did a good enough job at Spa, Monza and Singapore. Given their straight line advantage, it makes sense to put the car on pole and maintain enough pace on the straights to make overtaking nearly impossible. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with their approach…. it’s just their execution on Sundays that’s absolutely terrible.

  7. Thank you Captain Obvious! This reminds of the mindless pre-game comments in many team sports that amount to “we have to score more points than the other team”. Brilliant!

  8. “We got another pole.

    no you could start form pole, that’s different.
    And even with the great start the Ferraris most of the time displayed this year, the team strategy is great in ruining everything.

  9. Dutchguy (@justarandomdutchguy)
    30th October 2019, 17:43

    Maybe clear up the chaos in the strategy and driver management departments

  10. It is easy, get Verstappen.

Comments are closed.