Binotto: My first Ferrari win as F1 boss doesn't 'really count'

Mattia Binotto does not think his first victory as Ferrari Formula 1 boss "really counts" because his happiness is for Charles Leclerc and his team

Binotto: My first Ferrari win as F1 boss doesn't 'really count'

Leclerc finally ended his wait for a first win in F1 after near-misses in Bahrain and Austria this year, and also clinched Ferrari's first victory of the season in the process.

Binotto was appointed team principal at the start of 2019 and Ferrari was a noticeably changed team as soon as pre-season started, but that has given way to a fundamental car performance deficit at several tracks and mistakes at circuits where Ferrari has been in contention for victories.

Asked by Autosport if he was happy or relieved to finally secure his first win, Binotto said: "To be very honest I don't think my first victory as team principal really counts.

"I'm more happy for Charles, more happy for the team, and I really I think if there is any applause it's to them. "I think we are working as a team, roles don't matter.

"Today we proved that the strength of the team can be very important."

Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton almost caught Leclerc at the end of the race, finishing 0.9s adrift at the finish.

Leclerc said he did not fear a repeat of his late heartbreak in the Austrian GP, where Max Verstappen passed him late on, because he found it difficult on the medium tyres in the second stint and was busy adjusting his driving to cope.

"I did not think about Austria, but I could hear my engineer telling me the gaps and this gap was reduced every lap," said Leclerc.

"So I was trying to focus on the job, trying to cure the balance of the car.

"We had some problems with the rear tyres, I was trying to help the rear tyres as much as possible to arrive first, and that's what we did."

Leclerc won the race from pole but briefly fell behind team-mate Sebastian Vettel in the second stint, after Vettel pit early and enjoyed a pace advantage on fresh tyres.

However, with a six-lap offset, Leclerc cruised up to the back of Vettel, who was ordered to let him past.

"When I came out behind Sebastian, first I was not completely confident that the degradation was that much on the medium, that I could actually catch him," said.

"But after two or three laps, there was quite a big delta pace, so then I was like 'OK, I don't think we'll lose time together', which is exactly what we didn't do.

"Towards the end, I was checking the mirrors and obviously every lap on the radio, my engineer was telling me the gap with Lewis, and he was very, very quick.

"It was very close. I think one lap more would have been difficult to keep Lewis behind."

shares
comments
The day Leclerc stamped his authority on Ferrari and Vettel

Previous article

The day Leclerc stamped his authority on Ferrari and Vettel

Next article

Red Bull F1 drivers went back to pre-France engine at Belgian GP

Red Bull F1 drivers went back to pre-France engine at Belgian GP
Load comments
The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team Plus

The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team

Emerson Fittipaldi is better remembered for his Formula 1 world championships and Indianapolis 500 successes than for the spell running his eponymous F1 team. Despite a hugely talented roll call of staff, it was a period of internal strife, limited funding and few results - as remembered by Autosport's technical consultant

Formula 1
Oct 18, 2021
Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence Plus

Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence

In the 1960s and 1970s, McLaren juggled works entries in F1, sportscars and the Indy 500 while building cars for F3 and F2. Now it’s returning to its roots, expanding 
into IndyCars and Extreme E while continuing its F1 renaissance. There’s talk of Formula E and WEC entries too. But is this all too much, too soon? STUART CODLING talks to the man in charge

Formula 1
Oct 17, 2021
How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential Plus

How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential

Yuki Tsunoda arrived in grand prix racing amid a whirlwind of hype, which only increased after his first race impressed the biggest wigs in Formula 1. His road since has been rocky and crash-filled, and OLEG KARPOV asks why Red Bull maintains faith in a driver who admits he isn’t really that big a fan of F1?

Formula 1
Oct 15, 2021
The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages Plus

The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages

OPINION: After Lewis Hamilton responded to reports labelling him 'furious' with Mercedes following his heated exchanges over team radio during the Russian Grand Prix, it provided a snapshot on how Formula 1 broadcasting radio snippets can both illuminate and misrepresent the true situation

Formula 1
Oct 14, 2021
Why F1’s approach to pole winners with grid penalties undermines drivers Plus

Why F1’s approach to pole winners with grid penalties undermines drivers

OPINION: Valtteri Bottas is credited with pole position for the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, despite being beaten in qualifying. This is another example of Formula 1 and the FIA scoring an own goal by forgetting what makes motorsport magic, with the Istanbul race winner also a victim of this in the championship’s recent history

Formula 1
Oct 13, 2021
Turkish Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Turkish Grand Prix Driver Ratings

On a day that the number two Mercedes enjoyed a rare day in the sun, the Turkish Grand Prix produced several standout drives - not least from a driver who has hit a purple patch of late

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021
The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for shock Turkish GP glory Plus

The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for shock Turkish GP glory

Starting 11th after his engine change grid penalty, Lewis Hamilton faced a tough task to repeat his Turkish Grand Prix heroics of 2020 - despite making strong early progress in the wet. Instead, his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas broke through for a first win of the year to mitigate Max Verstappen re-taking the points lead

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021
How pitstops evolved into an F1 art form Plus

How pitstops evolved into an F1 art form

A Formula 1 pitstop is a rapid-fire blend of high technology and human performance. PAT SYMONDS describes how the science of margin gains makes stops so quick

Formula 1
Oct 10, 2021