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Ferrari prefers fast unreliable F1 car rather than other way around

Ferrari Formula 1 boss Mattia Binotto says he would rather have the challenge of fixing an unreliable but competitive package than the other way around.

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari F1-75, limps back to the pit trailing smoke

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari F1-75, limps back to the pit trailing smoke

Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

The Italian team was hit by a double retirement in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, with Charles Leclerc suffering a spectacular engine failure while leading the race, that preceded Carlos Sainz stopping with an unrelated hydraulic issue.

Leclerc also suffered a power unit failure in Barcelona, while Maranello customer teams Haas and Alfa Romeo have also had issues, with both Kevin Magnussen and Zhou Guanyu retiring from the Baku race with suspected engine-related issues.

Binotto said he wasn’t surprised the team had some reliability problems after it made a huge effort to upgrade the power unit over the winter in an attempt to close the gap to last year’s pacesetters, Red Bull and Mercedes.

"I'm not surprised and certainly concerned and disappointed," he said. "Because I think it's something that we need to try to fix, and we didn't yet.

“But I cannot blame the team, because I know the effort they have put in to address the performance from the past. I know it's a long journey, and we didn't get enthusiastic at the start of the season.

“As I said it's a journey which we are on, and there is still another step which is required right now. I think as a team again we will stay united, work hard. We have been capable of doing a proper job so far, we know that the job is not finished, but we will do it.

“I would rather prefer to have good performance and try to fix reliability rather than vice versa."

Mattia Binotto, Team Principal, Ferrari, in a press conference

Mattia Binotto, Team Principal, Ferrari, in a press conference

Photo by: Carl Bingham / Motorsport Images

Binotto conceded that the team’s biggest worry is it doesn’t have a definitive solution to the causes of the ongoing power unit reliability issues.

"It is a concern," he said. "It's even more a concern because I do not have the answer, and I would like to have one right now, and know what was the problem.

"Only the fact that we will need to fit another new engine, yeah it's a fact, it's very early in the season. Sometimes the problems you may have are not a short fix.

"So I don't know what will be the strategy we need to adopt, if it's simply shorter mileage, or a different type of usage, or a short fix, because whatever has happened is really a short fix solution.

"So something that I think we'll understand in the next days, and hopefully we'll have a clearer answer by the time we're in Canada."

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Binotto downplayed the suggestion the team has to win in Montreal next weekend in order to get its title campaign back on track.

"I don't think that it is a must win at all. We will be focused race-by-race, try to optimise our potential on the weekends. Today certainly something went wrong, and it's not only the reliability, we need to look at all the details.

"But when back at the factory I think as usual, it's lesson learned, try to understand, move forward and try to do it as soon as possible, and making sure that whatever we are doing is making the product stronger."

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