Binotto expects Ferrari bounce-back in 2021
Saturday 27th February, 2021 - 11:15am
Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto believes his team will do better in 2021 as they look to bounce back from last year’s “big disappointment”.
In the wake of the Scuderia’s worst season in more than 40 years, the team has seen a refresh for 2021 as Carlos Sainz replaces Sebastian Vettel alongside Charles Leclerc.
Speaking during the online ‘Team Launch’ on Friday, Binotto made it clear that he didn’t expect to see a second consecutive year of struggles and dismal results from the Prancing Horse.
Ferrari only managed sixth in the 2020 constructors’ standings, stating “we know that we cannot repeat such a bad result; we know that we need somehow to do better in 2021.”
“That is what I’m expecting (to do better),” he added.
“So I think it’s really a matter of mentality: team mentality, drivers’ mentality, and as team principal, no doubt I’m fully aware of the responsibility I’ve got, being part of such a team.
“I feel – not pressure – but I feel the responsibility, as well the pride, and I know that, as I said, initially we simply need to do better, and that’s part of my first responsibility.”
Binotto stopped short of promising a return to winning ways for Ferrari in 2021 but spoke confidently about Maranello’s all-new-power unit that will be in the SF21 as well as the Alfa Romeo C41 and Haas VF-21 this year.
“What I think will (help us recover in 2021) is our will to win,” said Binotto.
“I’m not saying that we will win – I think that we need to be realistic.
“There are cars that have been very, very strong last year, and with the car (development) being partially frozen, they will be certainly very strong again in 2021.”
Ferrari recruit Sainz similarly believes they need to be realistic in chasing results but is buoyed by the data he has seen on the new car.
While the possibility of scoring a podium at the season-opening race in Bahrain is the “million-dollar question”, the team needs to first get through pre-season testing to mark themselves against the rest of pit lane.
“Obviously I have been following very closely the progress of the team in the last few months and I have been trying to give my support and help,” said Sainz.
“There are some encouraging signs and encouraging data coming out, but at the same time, we don’t know what the others are doing.
“It’s the same question every winter, do you know where the others are?
“You might be progressing but you don’t know whether the others are progressing more or less. But I’m confident.
“Right now, it’s an important moment where we are trying to recover together and bring Ferrari back to the top, so it requires a lot of team building.
“As soon as the results start showing, there’s going to be a great momentum generated inside the team, and we’re all going to feel even more excited about the future.”
The new Ferrari SF21 will be unveiled at a second launch event on March 10.