Austrian GP Performance is a Reflection of Ferrari’s F1 Aspirations: Binotto

Published 07/06/2021, 12:10 PM EDT
Formula One F1 – Belgian Grand Prix – Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium – Ferrari Team Principal Mattia Binotto FIA/Handout via REUTERS


Ferrari’s showcase of teamwork set an example for the rest of the grid in Austria last Sunday. The team is currently competing with McLaren for the third spot on the Constructors’ Championship, falling behind by only 19 points.

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Therefore, it was essential for the team to score as many points as possible to close the gap to McLaren. Sainz and Leclerc swapped positions during the final lap of the race, and finished P5 and P8, respectively.

Team Principal Mattia Binotto commended the two drivers. “What I would highlight today is the spirit shown by our drivers, as Charles did not hesitate to make way for Carlos, who was on fresher and faster tires.

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“That meant we were able to get the best possible result for the team. It’s the right spirit, and it’s the way to go as we continue to make progress.” 

Binotto was extremely proud of the team’s performance and believed they achieved the best they could. “This result is in line with our potential at this track. Fifth place was on the cards and the most we could aspire to.”

Formula One F1 – Steiermark Grand Prix – Red Bull Ring, Styria, Austria – June 25, 2021 Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz Jr. and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc in action during practice REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

Ferrari’s strategy at Austria

Ferrari did, in fact, perform extremely well in the Red Bull Ring. With both drivers starting below the Top-10, it would be a battle to the points.

However, the team later revealed that staying out of Q3 was a risk they were willing to take on account of not starting on the soft C5 tires.

With Carlos Sainz starting on the hard tires and Charles Leclerc starting on the mediums, the risk certainly paid off. The split strategies meant the Spaniard pushed on the hard tires all the way to lap 48 and finished on fresher and faster mediums.

On the other hand, Leclerc ran on the mediums for 34 laps and switched to hard for the remainder of the race.

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The strategy helped in the battle against McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo. Sainz followed Leclerc behind Ricciardo. Because Sainz was on fresher tires, team orders were given and Charles let Carlos in front.

This helped Sainz overtake Ricciardo and secure P6. Due to Perez’s penalties against Leclerc, Sainz finished in P5, as he was 9 seconds behind the Red Bull.

Ferrari could’ve done better had Perez not intervened Charles. However, that’s just how the game goes. The duo has managed to get the Scuderia as many points as possible and have the rest of the season to out-score McLaren.

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Shreya Sanjeev

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