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Mattia Binotto, Sebastian Vettel

Binotto: Winning cycles take time

Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto has revealed he is not expecting championship success in his second year on the job, admitting the competition makes such predictions impossible.

Appearing on Italian broadcaster RAI’s Che Tempo Che Fa alongside drivers Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc, the 50-year-old Italian insisted the Scuderia’s improved pace in his first season in charge does not mean another dominant period is around the corner.

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“It would be wrong to make predictions, last year we did well at the tests then there was the cold shower in Australia,” he said, referring to Ferrari’s rude awakening at the first race of the 2019 season after a strong showing in preseason testing.

“We’re a young team, we’re trying to build, winning cycles take time, F1 is very competitive, never before have opponents been so strong, but the commitment is there, it’s a beautiful team.”

Despite Binotto’s words to the contrary, Ferrari are widely expected to give reigning champions Mercedes a run for their money in 2020, while the relationship between Vettel and Leclerc remains firmly under the microscope after a somewhat-rocky first season together.

Nevertheless, Binotto seems more than satisfied with his drivers.

“They are the best pairing in the championship, but sometimes they make a fuss” he said with a smile.

When the topic of Leclerc’s unauthorised skydive over the winter break came up, Binotto proceeded to offer a less-than-serious rebuke.

“Actually I haven’t forgiven him — he’ll never do it again, I hope he’ll understand,” he joked, before Vettel quipped: “Charles was just wrong not to invite Mattia to jump with him”.