Mattia Binotto Takes a Swipe at Red Bull Over Mercedes F1 Head Hunting

Published 05/22/2021, 6:56 AM EDT
NUERBURG, GERMANY – OCTOBER 11: Red Bull Racing Team Consultant Dr Helmut Marko and Scuderia Ferrari Team Principal Mattia Binotto talk on the grid before the F1 Eifel Grand Prix at Nuerburgring on October 11, 2020 in Nuerburg, Germany. (Photo by Peter Fox/Getty Images)


Red Bull have been making all the noise over the past year ever since their current power unit supplier, Honda, announced their departure from F1 at the end of this season. That has started a chain of events that has seen them announce both their intentions to start their own engine operations and also hire key members of their title rivals, Mercedes. And the way that they have gone about it hasn’t sat right with Mattia Binotto.

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Red Bull let the whole world know that they were snatching Ben Hodgkinson from Mercedes; he will become the technical director of their power trains project, based at their Milton Keynes headquarters.

Formula One F1 – Portuguese Grand Prix – Algarve International Circuit, Portimao, Portugal – Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff applauds FIA/Handout via REUTERS

But snagging key staff from their rivals is nothing new to Ferrari Team Principal, Binotto. They have been doing it for quite some time now; though they prefer to keep a low profile, unlike Red Bull.

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“Over the past three years, more than 30 engineers from other teams have been hired. Red Bull is announcing it rather making it a purchase campaign, we do it without letting it be known,” Binotto told Corriere Della Sera. (Quotes translated from Italian using Google)

Mattia Binotto provides an update on Ferrari’s 2022 progress

Binotto hasn’t shied away from admitting that Ferrari will be focussing on their maximum resources for next season. The new technical regulations provide them with an opportunity to re-take their throne. So, how is the car coming along?

“We are at a point where important choices are being made on aerodynamic concepts. In a month they will be defined and then we will start with the production of the first pieces,” said Binotto.

Binotto not sure if the new regulations will stop a Mercedes-esque domination

The main motive behind these new rules is to promote a better racing spectacle. For that, the FIA aims to bring the teams closer to each other while encouraging a more proactive wheel-to-wheel combat. But Binotto is skeptical of it actually becoming a reality.

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“They will not all be close, at the beginning this objective will not be reached then over time we will see how close they will get. The second goal of the 2022 regulations was to facilitate overtaking, I am not convinced that we will get there.”

SPIELBERG, AUSTRIA: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain driving the (44) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes W10 leads Charles Leclerc of Monaco driving the (16) Scuderia Ferrari SF90 on track during qualifying for the F1 Grand Prix of Austria at Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, Austria. (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)

There is a revolution happening behind the scenes at the big F1 teams. It will be intriguing to see who wins this technical war in the next few years.

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Bharat Aggarwal

755 articles

Bharat Aggarwal is a sports analyst for EssentiallySports, covering Formula 1 and NBA. A Delhi University graduate, Bharat has multi-year experience in sports writing, having closely worked with the content strategy aspect as well. Bharat Aggarwal supports Manchester United, Lewis Hamilton, Cristiano Ronaldo, Rafael Nadal, Dirk Nowitzki, Sachin Tendulkar, Ayrton Senna, Kristaps Porzingis, and Dallas Mavericks.

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