Ferrari F1 Boss Binotto Finally Reveals His Stance on Mercedes’ Controversial Rear Suspension System

Published 11/01/2021, 9:30 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – United States Grand Prix – Circuit of the Americas, Austin, Texas, U.S. – October 23, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton in action during qualifying Pool via REUTERS/Darron Cummings


Mercedes’ rear suspension movement has been an ongoing debate since the Turkish GP. The cars showed incredible pace on the straights. The rear suspension of the W-12s seems to move in a non-linear way- triggering a debate across teams. However, Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto could be far from worried about the workings of the Mercedes machines.

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Formula One F1 – British Grand Prix – Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone, Britain – July 18, 2021 Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc leads ahead of Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton during the race REUTERS/Peter Cziborra

Recently, the Ferrari team principal shared his thoughts on the whole conundrum. “To be honest, I’m not very interested in this discussion. I don’t follow them much, but I’ve heard of this incident. I didn’t see anything wrong or illegal about it.”

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Disinterested, Binotto takes the honorable route and focuses on his team, who is relentlessly working on the 2022 car. Red Bull, on the other hand, triggered the conversation but was soon to retrieve their initial arguments.

Understanding the Mercedes suspension commotion

The suspension on the Silver Arrows was an important talking point during the US GP weekend. As the car traveled down the straights, its rear end sunk; making itself an unusual subject of interest.

However, the conversation began in Istanbul. Red Bull was nowhere close to Mercedes on straight-line speed, which embedded doubts in Christian Horner‘s mind. He soon suspected that it didn’t have anything to do with the upgraded Mercedes ICEs; rather, there was another trick up Mercedes’ sleeve.

However, it’s a practice that has been going on for a while now to minimize drag. To do this, in a way Mercedes has been flattening its car or the straights, and the movement of the suspension is it popping back up when the car brakes on the corners.

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Horner also understood what Mercedes’ move was. “It’s something that has been used historically and we have seen it with them in the past but obviously, what we have seen in Turkey was quite an extreme version of it which that circuit seemed to allow.”

Formula One F1 – United States Grand Prix – Circuit of the Americas, Austin, Texas, U.S. – October 24, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton in action ahead of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen during the race REUTERS/Mike Blake

Nonetheless, Horner is aware it could bite Red Bull in the later tracks. “It was a reduced effect in the US. Somewhere like Jeddah, it could be quite powerful.”

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Although the speed was evident, Red Bull and Verstappen’s victory at COTA soon proved that the magic wasn’t something to be worried about. In the end, it looks like both cars have a pace almost on par with each other; whoever wins at the end of the season would have deserved it regardless of suspension tweaks.

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Shreya Sanjeev

622 articles

Shreya Sanjeev is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Having attained a journalism degree from St Xavier's College, she finds comfort in the sound of her keyboard while typing and excitement in the sound of F1 cars speeding on a track. A street circuit and Daniel Ricciardo fan through and through, Shreya claims the 2018 Monaco GP to be one of her favorite races of all time.

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