“Ferrari, I see hunger, not just the desire to win the GP or the World Championship” – Corriere.it

from Daniele Disappear

Before the Imola GP, the Maranello team principal talks about the Ferrari projects that have already won two races: Many similarities with Schumacher’s times. Leclerc? He has broad shoulders, difficult to overcome. Without F1 I would have been a carpenter


Low clouds and wet hills. Mattia Binotto observe the rain from the top floor of the motorhome, with the smile of someone who leads the World Championship. An air of home, this land exudes passion. I don’t know how many times I’ve come for the tests, the first with Berger and Alesi. And later with Schumacher. We used to play football down there, put cones for doors. For Michael even before a recreation it was a way of teaming up.

Was that a starving Ferrari, like this one?

I see many parallels. That Ferrari hadn’t won for a long time, it had built the foundations over a long period. He had hired many young technicians, including me. We also got lots of guys, fresh air. I see hunger, not just the desire to win individual GPs or a title. Much more.

What then?
Bringing Ferrari back to being a model for F1, for rivals. Representing a model, this means “Being Ferrari”: feeding the myth of the Prancing Horse by being a reference in every field.

Very ambitious goals, why the victories in Bahrain and Australia were celebrated in a sober way?

Single successes cannot be a goal. We know how in an instant you can go from one situation to another. No illusions, we have to grow up. But there is a great desire to grow.

Three years ago, newly appointed team principal, he said: We want to open a cycle. what do you mean?
Yes, it means being able to stay at the top in a lasting way. Then, thinking of always winning would be presumptuous. But you must always be there in front of fighting. this is our goal.

So if he only won the Drivers’ World Championship (like Red Bull last year) he wouldn’t be happy?
We couldn’t be, the constructors’ championship represents the solidity of a team. To understand: a drivers’ title would be extraordinary, but I think our goal goes further.

Does defeat really help or just rhetoric?
It is used to take steps backwards to move forward. It teaches us not to disunite and to invest in technologies, people and “culture”: identify the weak points and correct them. We’ve been doing this in the last 2-3 years, it’s been a long way.

How did he regain the trust of the group?
To gain trust you have to give it. The most important thing was to give it to each member of the team, raising the bar in difficulties.

Was there a moment when you thought about giving up everything?
Never. I’m too headstrong. And I am also aware that I am not the only one responsible for successes or failures. We are a team and I feel like one of many elements. We all reacted together, we have always remained united. And that gave me the push.

But how did he see the light after very difficult years like 2020?
I knew I had Maranello, we had the skills to be competitive. We had already demonstrated this in 2017 and 2018 and have grown since then. But I also knew that we would have to go through two seasons of sacrifice before taking the opportunity to redeem the new rules.

Are Mercedes and Red Bull paying for the efforts of the last championship fought until the last lap and have you taken advantage of it?
I absolutely don’t see it like that. They were motivated, for us it was all uphill. Working on the future when you get slapped every weekend wasn’t easy. You have to put your face to it and have a management that accepts the situation. If the opponents are behind there are other reasons, “distraction” has nothing to do with it.

Red Bull or Mercedes, who are you most afraid of?
Red Bull, has a superior development capacity.

Speaking of leadership, he feels the confidence of President John Elkann and the CEO. Benedetto Vigna?
Yes, otherwise I wouldn’t be here talking to you. I have relationships of trust and transparency with them.

Where is Leclerc’s strength?
He has broad shoulders, takes up the whole track. He if he goes in the head hard to overcome him: a magician of the melee.

And Sainz’s?
She studies. a fast driver who likes to analyze data. He knows how to adapt and grow, he needs more time. But then he comes too.

Carlos for back in the standings. time for internal hierarchies?
No, they both have the right to express themselves at their best. At this stage there is no need for orders: without the mistake in Melbourne, Carlos would be second in the World Championship. And if he wins he takes points away from Verstappen, the real rival.

What was the moment when you realized you had a Ferrari capable of winning?

From the data it was obvious. After the first day of testing in Barcelona, ​​I had confirmation. Sometimes just one “run” is enough: if the driver smiles you understand that the car was born well. They taught me so, and it is true.

How much did the new simulator, the updated technologies count?
Much. We now have predictive tools capable of quickly identifying a problem and its cause. They will also be crucial for developments.

Leclerc in Australia dominated, at Schumacher, she was in Michael’s Ferrari. But was it really so?
At times I felt like I was reliving those good times. We hadn’t won with such a performance advantage in a long time.

What do you bring back from those years there?
The will to always improve. We are only at the beginning of the road. And the difficulty is yet to come.

Fixed thinking. But does she sometimes manage to take her head off, to relax?
By isolating myself. At home, in the garden. Walking through the woods, cycling on the Apennines. But I can’t really disconnect.

And a good book?
Unfortunately I read little. I would like to, but after a few pages I tend to fall asleep.

How do you experience war at the gates of Europe?
With anguish and sadness. Terrible, unacceptable images, a few miles from home. The reasons and even the development of this conflict are not understood. I like to think that sport can bring a smile, a distraction, teach values.

What if your children wanted to become engineers in F1?
Marco studies product design and clear anthropology. I always hoped they would take a different path from mine.

Do you believe in God, religious?
Yes, when I can I go to Mass.

She likes the Netflix series, Drive to Survive?

For those who live it strange from the inside: we look like actors and instead we are sports professionals. But I realize that it has enormous power and that it has helped F1 to bring young people closer.

With these victories Will Maurizio Crozza have to change his imitation?

He made me laugh with my character first and when I see him again I keep laughing. I have to thank him: he helped us so much to play down the hardest moments. And sooner or later I’d like to meet him in person.

Here in Imola for another triumph. Maybe you plan to take tomorrow’s sprint race too?

The car has shown that it can compete for victory in all races. We arrive with the ambition to fight for the top step of the podium.

If you hadn’t become a team principal in F1, what would you have liked to do?
The carpenter.

April 22, 2022 (change April 22, 2022 | 08:45)

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