Binotto: Wolff is a rival in F1 but there is no hatred

Ferrari Formula 1 team principal Mattia Binotto says the relationship he has with Mercedes' Toto Wolff is one of sporting rivalry rather than hatred

Binotto: Wolff is a rival in F1 but there is no hatred

Binotto and Wolff clashed earlier this year in the wake of the secret deal that was put in place between the FIA and Ferrari regarding legality doubts over the Maranello team's 2019 power unit.

Wolff was especially outspoken at claims from Binotto that all teams had been impacted by technical directives regarding engines - so Ferrari wasn't alone in being caught out.

"Another complete bullshit story, technical directives," said Wolff. "There's a clear regulation on power units."

Wolff has also said that he felt sad that Ferrari had endured difficulties this year because of choices made by certain individuals there.

"It's maybe the decisions that have been made within the team, from certain members of the team," he claimed.

But while the relationship between the Mercedes and Ferrari bosses has appeared to be quite tense, Binotto does not see any particular tension between them.

"Do we 'hate' each other," said Binotto in an interview with Sky Italia, when asked about his relationship with Wolff.

"In a sporting respect, he is my main opponent who has been winning for many years. But it is not hatred.

"There is respect and a desire to beat him, but not for the sake of beating Toto and Mercedes. It's to bring Ferrari back to the top, and the place where it deserves to be."

Binotto insisted that there was nothing underhand about the deal Ferrari reached with the FIA over the winter, and is clear that if rivals had been unhappy with his team's engine last year then the door was always open to them to protest.

"No opponent last year filed a protest against us," he said. "What was done later [after the season] started from the FIA's desire to continue its investigations and analysis at a time when we were focused on developing the car for the 2020 season.

"We thus reached a simple agreement: let us focus on the future, let us help each other to understand what are the possible grey areas in the rules. And where clarifications were needed, clarifications were made.

"The agreement was secret because it was obvious it should be. Should we have shown everyone our engine?

"I don't think anyone has ever done that in Formula 1, and no one will ever do that in the future.

"With regards to the grey area, it was like that throughout the 2019 season until new directives arrived, and they were also defined thanks to our help.

"These directives had an impact on all engines, but on us to a greater extent."

Despite Ferrari's difficult season, Binotto says the response in Maranello has been the right one - with the staff having come together amid its troubles rather than trying to blame each other.

"It's a fantastic group of people," said Binotto. "We are going through a difficult period, and in such a context it is easy for tensions to arise, to point the finger at your desk neighbour.

"Instead, we are a compact team that is working with only one goal, plus we have the support of our president and CEO.

"We believe in this sport and in the future. Despite [it being] not an easy sporting moment, and with all the difficulties that the COVID period has entailed, [Ferrari] has solid foundations on which to build and look forward."

shares
comments
Racing Point: Stroll must regain confidence after physical and mental battering

Previous article

Racing Point: Stroll must regain confidence after physical and mental battering

Next article

Steiner accepts risk of all-rookie F1 line-up at Haas in 2021

Steiner accepts risk of all-rookie F1 line-up at Haas in 2021
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Susie Wolff
Author Jonathan Noble
How 2021's midfielders have taken lessons from F1's top teams Plus

How 2021's midfielders have taken lessons from F1's top teams

Formula 1’s latest Imola adventure turned into an expensive trip for many teams due to several crashes throughout the weekend. While balancing the books is an added factor in 2021 with the cost cap, a few midfield teams have cashed in early on development investments

Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Driver Ratings

A frantic wet race at Imola produced plenty of excitement and drama as drivers scrabbled for grip. Amid the hatful of mistakes and incidents that ensued, who kept their noses cleanest?

How the Emilia Romagna GP result hinged on three crucial saves Plus

How the Emilia Romagna GP result hinged on three crucial saves

Rain before the start of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix promised to spice up the action, and the race certainly delivered on that. Max Verstappen got the best launch to win from Lewis Hamilton, but both got away with mistakes that could have had serious consequences

The back-bedroom world-beater that began a new F1 era Plus

The back-bedroom world-beater that began a new F1 era

The first in a line of world beaters was designed in a back bedroom and then constructed in a shed. STUART CODLING recalls the Tyrrell 001

Formula 1
Apr 18, 2021
The clues Hamilton’s F1 contract afterthought gives to his future Plus

The clues Hamilton’s F1 contract afterthought gives to his future

The Formula 1 world reacted with surprise when it learned Lewis Hamilton’s long-awaited new Mercedes deal guarantees his presence on the grid only until the end of 2021. Both parties claimed publicly they were happy with the arrangement but, asks MARK GALLAGHER, is there more to it than that?

Formula 1
Apr 17, 2021
How a harshly ejected Red Bull star has been hooked by racing again Plus

How a harshly ejected Red Bull star has been hooked by racing again

Driver-turned-DJ Jaime Alguersuari lost his love for motorsport when he was booted out of Formula 1 just as he was starting to polish his rough edges. Having drifted from category to category then turned his back on racing altogether in 2015, he’s come full circle and is planning a return in karts for fun

Formula 1
Apr 17, 2021
Why Mercedes isn't confident it's really ahead of Red Bull at Imola Plus

Why Mercedes isn't confident it's really ahead of Red Bull at Imola

While Mercedes struck back against Red Bull by topping the times at Imola on Friday ahead of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, the overall picture remains incredibly close. Despite having a possible edge this weekend, the reigning Formula 1 world champion squad is not taking anything for granted...

Formula 1
Apr 16, 2021
What Mercedes must do to keep its F1 title challenge on track Plus

What Mercedes must do to keep its F1 title challenge on track

Mercedes may find itself leading the drivers' and constructors' standings after Lewis Hamilton's victory in the Bahrain Grand Prix, but it is well-aware that it came against the odds, with Red Bull clearly ahead on pace. Here's what the Brackley team must do to avoid its crown slipping

Formula 1
Apr 16, 2021