Ferrari's Binotto too "nervous" to watch F1 Austrian GP closing stages

Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto has revealed that he stopped watching the final laps of Formula 1’s Austrian Grand Prix because he was so anxious about Charles Leclerc’s throttle problems.

Ferrari's Binotto too "nervous" to watch F1 Austrian GP closing stages

Leclerc had looked set to lead home a fairly comfortable Ferrari 1-2 at the Red Bull Ring on Sunday before events were quickly turned on their head towards the end of the race.

The Monegasque's teammate Carlos Sainz had just been poised to overtake second placed Max Verstappen on lap 57 when his engine suddenly failed, putting him out of the race.

Then, following a virtual safety car period to retrieve Sainz's fire-damaged car, Leclerc began complaining about throttle problems – with the accelerator getting stuck open in corners.

Ferrari had already seen wins slip through its grasp this season when Leclerc has retired from the lead with engine problems in both Spain and Azerbaijan, and there were clear concerns of the potential for repeat heartbreak this time.

The situation was so worrying for Binotto that he could not face following the track action as the final laps ticked away.

Asked by Autosport what was going through his head in the closing stages amid the reliability concerns, Binotto said: “I have to admit, I was very nervous. Disappointed as well for what happened to Carlos.

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari F1-75

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari F1-75

Photo by: Alessio Morgese

“But so nervous that I stopped watching the race in the last three laps.”

Ferrari suspects that Leclerc’s throttle problem was triggered by some form of mechanical failure, but a full investigation would only take place back at Maranello this week.

Binotto also reckons that Sainz’s engine blow-up was likely a repeat of the same problem that put Leclerc out at Baku.

“Obviously we need to look at what happened today,” he said. “Is it the same we had already in Baku with Charles? Very likely.

“It's certainly a concern, but the people back at Maranello are working very hard try to fix things. Obviously, looking at what happened to Carlos, it has not been solved yet.

“But we have new elements and I know how strong they are working and how good they are. I can count on them that it will be addressed very soon, and hopefully as soon as possible.”

shares
comments
F1 must act hard on abuse - no fan should ever attend a GP and not want to go back
Previous article

F1 must act hard on abuse - no fan should ever attend a GP and not want to go back

Next article

Autosport Podcast: F1 Austrian Grand Prix Review

Autosport Podcast: F1 Austrian Grand Prix Review
Why Vasseur relishes 'feeling the pressure' as Ferrari's F1 boss Plus

Why Vasseur relishes 'feeling the pressure' as Ferrari's F1 boss

OPINION: Fred Vasseur has spent only a few weeks as team principal for the Ferrari Formula 1 team, but is already intent on taking the Scuderia back to the very top. And despite it being arguably the most demanding job in motorsport, the Frenchman is relishing the challenge

The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023 Plus

The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023

Changes to the regulations for season two of Formula 1's ground-effects era aim to smooth out last year’s troubles and shut down loopholes. But what areas have been targeted, and what impact will this have?

Formula 1
Jan 26, 2023
Are these the 50 quickest drivers in F1 history? Plus

Are these the 50 quickest drivers in F1 history?

Who are the quickest drivers in Formula 1 history? LUKE SMITH asked a jury of experienced and international panel of experts and F1 insiders. Some of them have worked closely with F1’s fastest-ever drivers – so who better to vote on our all-time top 50? We’re talking all-out speed here rather than size of trophy cabinet, so the results may surprise you…

Formula 1
Jan 25, 2023
One easy way the FIA could instantly improve F1 Plus

One easy way the FIA could instantly improve F1

OPINION: During what is traditionally a very quiet time of year in the Formula 1 news cycle, FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem has been generating headlines. He’s been commenting on massive topics in a championship that loves them, but also addressing necessary smaller changes too. Here we suggest a further refinement that would be a big boon to fans

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2023
How can McLaren keep hold of Norris? Plus

How can McLaren keep hold of Norris?

Lando Norris is no longer the young cheeky-chappy at McLaren; he’s now the established ace. And F1's big guns will come calling if the team can’t give him a competitive car. Here's what the team needs to do to retain its prize asset

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2023
What difference did F1's fastest pitstops of 2022 make? Plus

What difference did F1's fastest pitstops of 2022 make?

While a quick pitstop can make all the difference to the outcome of a Formula 1 race, most team managers say consistency is more important than pure speed. MATT KEW analyses the fastest pitstops from last season to see which ones – if any – made a genuine impact

Formula 1
Jan 23, 2023
When F1 ‘holiday’ races kept drivers busy through the winter Plus

When F1 ‘holiday’ races kept drivers busy through the winter

Modern Formula 1 fans have grown accustomed to a lull in racing during winter in the northern hemisphere. But, as MAURICE HAMILTON explains, there was a time when teams headed south of the equator rather than bunkering down in the factory. And why not? There was fun to be had, money to be made and reputations to forge…

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2023
What Porsche social media frenzy says about F1’s manufacturer allure Plus

What Porsche social media frenzy says about F1’s manufacturer allure

Porsche whipped up a frenzy thanks to a cryptic social media post last week and, although it turned out to be a false alarm, it also highlighted why manufacturers remain such an important element in terms of the attraction that they bring to F1. It is little wonder that several other manufacturers are bidding for a slice of the action

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2023