Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto called for his team to keep their heads high after they failed to deliver in front of the Tifosi at the 2022 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, on a weekend marred with errors by both of the Scuderia’s drivers.
That was not the weekend the Tifosi, or Ferrari themselves were expecting at Imola, given the team’s excellent form at the start of the 2022 Formula 1 season, with their F1-75 being on top of the field this year.
And what made things worse, was that Ferrari’s top management were there in track watching the proceedings, namely Chairman John Elkann, and CEO Benedetto Vigna, as Mattia Binotto’s men chose the wrong race to mess up.
To be fair, the Reds were lacking pace compare to Red Bull, but Carlos Sainz’s crash in qualifying on the weekend of his contract renewal, as well as Charles Leclerc’s unforced error during the race trying to chase down Sergio Perez, were both uncalled for.
Sainz was an innocent victim of Daniel Ricciado’s ambitious first lap at Imola, but the fact remains that Ferrari finished the race with one car only, Leclerc in sixth place.
Binotto tried to put on a brave face as he faced the media after the race, and was quoted by Sky Sports F1 saying: “Obviously, we are a bit unhappy for the results of today.
“I think we need to keep [our] heads up,” he insisted. “It’s part of racing; some races may go wrong and it has been [that way] today.
“But I think we’ve still got a competitive package, [so] I think we need to keep the smile on and look forward to the next races,” he added.
Ferrari’s race started to unravel, when they decided to pit Leclerc for fresh Softs to try something different, when it was clear he did not have the pace to catch up with the Red Bulls ahead. The Monegasque ended up spinning and damaging his front wing trying to chase down Perez, whose team pitted him to cover the #16 Ferrari.
Binotto explained the decision, and said: “It was was not necessary for tyres and we didn’t do that for the fastest lap [bonus point].
“We simply did that because we thought it was the best option for us, to try to have some opportunity,” he revealed. “We knew that maybe Red Bull would have reacted, so we would be again resetting on the new tyres.
“I think Charles was attacking Perez at the time, so I think it has been the right choice to pit, and to try to create that situation, but obviously he made a small mistake.
“Again, it’s something that may always happen and we should not be disappointed,” the Ferrari boss reflected.
Ferrari will make the Tifosi smile on other opportunities
Binotto later added in the team report: “Of course we are disappointed as we wanted a better result than this in front of all our fans.
“It was a difficult race,” he went on. “Our drivers did not get perfect starts, possibly being on the worse side of the track. Charles’ first pit stop was not the best either, which meant he was back out on track without the gap that might have allowed him to fend off Perez and then he made a mistake trying to overtake him.
“Carlos was very unlucky at the start and for the second time in a row, he was unable to finish the race,” Binotto said of Sainz’s racing ending crash on the opening lap.
“It’s a real shame, not just because of the points lost, but also because he’s completed very few kilometres in the last few Grands Prix.
“Nevertheless, we will not lose heart and we will continue to work calmly,” the 52-year-old insisted. “We wanted to give the fans something to cheer about, as they packed out the grandstands and the fields with a sea of red to support us here at Imola.
“Naturally, we are disappointed not to have managed that, but there will be other races and opportunities to put a smile on their faces.
“Now we look forward to Miami and a new track, which makes it an even more compelling prospect. We will continue to work hard to extract all the potential out of the F1-75 and to optimise the updates that we will be introducing in the coming races,” the Swiss-born Italian concluded.