It came as a bit of a surprise when reports earlier this week detailed that Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto would not be in charge of the pitwall at the Turkish GP. Instead, Laurent Mekies would step up as acting team principal to fill that void.
Binotto has now spoken about maintaining the balance between spending time at the factory base and the races. He also stated that the latter is something that should eventually bear the sacrifice.
Binotto is quoted by Planet F1 as saying, “I think, considering myself, you need always to balance your tasks at the racetrack and the factory.
“The factory is important, where we are developing and preparing the cars,” he added.
“That is even more eventually next year because in the end, when you are responsible for an entire team, certainly the race event is important but the management of the entire team is more and more important.”
The 51-year-old had previously spoken about the positive results their dyno testing in Maranello was producing. So, with an eye on 2021, Binotto might miss a few races this season to invest time back at the base.
“Myself too, I think I will not follow the races. Even in 2020 I am already considering skipping some of the races in the last part of the season, starting from Turkey,” said Binotto.
It feels like the role of the team principal might be evolving in recent times now. Even Mercedes boss Wolff has admitted that he would embrace more responsibilities within the company, than just the usual duties and necessities of a standard team principal.
Sitting, or for that matter finishing 6th in the Constructors’ table, is not something Ferrari have done too often. Considering they have been far busier in the past, raking up wins and podiums at the front of the grid.
Some have pointed to Binotto’s leadership as one of the main reasons for this downfall in grace for Ferrari. Thus, alongside a better car, better management might also be needed.
From that perspective, if Binotto is to spend more time at the factory, then a solid strategic leader might be required on-ground. For it is always important for teams to have some command from the pitwall during the races.