Former Ferrari driver Gerhard Berger is convinced that the iconic Italian team is in good hands with team principal Mattia Binotto at the helm, believing that the engineer is the right man for the hottest job in the sport but admitting that the Scuderia chief needs support.
Ahead of this season, Binotto was promoted to lead Ferrari while Maurizio Arrivabene was shown the door but results have not been forthcoming and the team is clearly lagging behind Mercedes and have been reeled in by Red Bull.
In a nutshell, from the outside, they appear worse off under the new boss than they were with Arrivabene, at least in terms of results and performance. Meanwhile, it has emerged that the winds of change are blowing through Maranello on the engineering front with demotions and promotions ongoing behind the scenes.
Speaking to Formula Passion, Berger remains optimistic but calls for patience, “The appointment of Binotto was correct. Ferrari had changed after the departure of Montezemolo and Domenicali, it was no longer the team I knew. Now with Binotto in charge, he has rediscovered the team’s DNA, but these things take time and they need to stabilize.”
Ferrari drivers Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc have yet to win a race this season, while Mercedes have yet to lose one. Many in Italy are writing the season off for the Reds, but Berger remains positive.
He continued, “I am convinced that a victory would be enough to take a bit of pressure and turn the season around for them. For what they showed in Baku I was convinced they can have a say in the world championship but then, beyond the mistakes, they didn’t have enough speed in Monaco.”
“I still can’t get an idea of their true potential. Certainly, if they want to fight for the world championship they must stop making these mistakes.”
Berger also suggests that Binotto leading the team, as a one-man show, could do with some help, “He is constantly responsible for everything with little support. At Mercedes, they have Toto Wolff, Niki Lauda and James Allison and Andy Cowell. Red Bull is similar to Christian Horner, Helmut Marko and Adrian Newey. But not so for Binotto who needs more support as he is the key to Ferrari success.”
When asked who will be the 2019 F1 champions, Berger ventured , “I would put my money on Ferrari.”
“It’s not about Mercedes destroying the championship because the team does a brilliant job, but rather the current regulations make it impossible for the others to catch up,” lamented the Austrian who is currently DTM chief.
Big Question: What does Mattia need to do to revive Ferrari fortunes?