Binotto says he considered his future in Ferrari storm


Monza (Italy) (AFP)

Team chief Mattia Binotto admitted he considered his future with Ferrari as the team's disappointing start to the season hit a low at last weekend's Belgian Grand Prix where they failed to score a point.

The Italian, promoted to succeed Maurizio Arrivabene as team principal in 2019, told Italian daily Corriere della Sera that he believed he retained the support of Ferrari's board and in particular chairman John Elkann and CEO Louis Camilleri

"I know I have the support of my managers, but I questioned myself," he was quoted saying on the eve of this weekend's Italian Grand Prix. "I reflected on whether I can be suitable for the role of team principal.

"I could have done better in some areas, but I believe that my 25 years in F1 and the knowledge of this company are key elements to do well in this profession.

"I'm not alone, I can assure you. With Louis Camilleri, I speak several times a day and with John Elkann regularly. I get their advice -- certainly their leadership style is different from what we were used to in the past, but I'm not alone. No, not really."

Commenting on the team's dismal showing at Spa-Francorchamps and looking ahead to Monza, he said: "Spa has demonstrated the weak points of this car, from the engine to the aerodynamic efficiency.

"We could have done a little better but not too much. This is a different track, the corners are less difficult than those of Spa and the weather conditions are different ...and I'm curious to see how it goes with the new directives."

The new technical directive bans qualifying engine 'party modes' which dominant team Mercedes have suggested is intended to slow them down.

On Friday, Ferrari performed better than many critics had forecast with 2019 Monza pole man and winner Charles Leclerc winding up eighth after the second practice.

"It was very difficult to drive on high fuel," said Leclerc. "I think we expected a bit worse on the low fuel runs, but then on the high fuel runs, we expected a bit better...

"So we definitely need to try and find something for the race, otherwise it's going to be very, very difficult."

Four-time champion Sebastian Vettel, in his last season at Ferrari, was 12th.

"Where are we lacking? I think we're losing down the straights, which is expected, but in terms of where we want to have a better car to drive, we're lacking grip on corner entry with pretty much all four wheels -- the car is sliding quite a lot and it's a handful.

"It's very difficult to get everything right, to get the lap together but we're trying to make it a bit better for tomorrow. Part of it is Monza, part of it is our car."