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Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Binotto: Leclerc and Sainz ‘The Least of Ferrari’s Problems’ in 2021

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It’s fair to say that Scuderia Ferrari are going through one of their roughest patches in their F1 history. Within a span of months, they went from title contenders to not even the best mid-field team.

So far this season, the Maranello-based outfit have got nothing right. Almost everything they do has resulted in fans booing them. It’s the exact opposite of having Midas’s touch.

Although they have a new driver pairing for 2021, the duo of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz is relatively young. This isn’t a typical combination Ferrari have persisted with down the years.

However, Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto insists that in another year of expected turmoil, their driver duo will most certainly not be an area of concern.

Mclaren's Carlos Sainz in action during the race at the Portuguese Grand Prix 2020
Formula One F1 – Portuguese Grand Prix – Algarve International Circuit, Portimao, Portugal – Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and McLaren’s Carlos Sainz Jr. in action during the race Pool via REUTERS/Jose Sena Goulao

In an exclusive interview with Sky Italia, Binotto said (translated by Google), “Leclerc excites the fans, but also us internally. Enzo Ferrari would have liked a lot, he often drives over the limit.

“Sainz is a leader, a hard worker who unites the working group. He is a growing rider and has a mentality.

“I am strongly convinced of this choice. I think they will be the least of our problems.”

What does the Ferrari boss make of the team’s future?

With the new technical regulations making it tough to realistically improve the car for next year, Binotto gave an honest admission of the team’s title chances.

He said, “Realistically no, for the World Championship I honestly think not. He must return to fight regularly for the podium, this must be our goal”

Charles Leclerc's Ferrari in action during qualifying at Imola
Formula One F1 – Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy – Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc in action during qualifying Pool via REUTERS/Miguel Medina

On the topic of regulations, in 2022, with the next generation of aerodynamic changes coming in, F1 aims to make the sport more competitive. Binotto believes this could be a step in the right direction. Although it might be too early to predict.

“The regulation as it was written is very restrictive. So there are few opportunities to come up with something strange.

“The premises are the right ones: Try to increase the showmanship, the cars will lose aerodynamic performance by staying closer to the one in front. Direction is the right one.”

However, 2022 is still a very long way away. For now, the Scuderia’s focus will be on the remaining four races. Can they end their disappointing campaign on a high note, perhaps with a podium? Only time will tell.

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