Binotto: Cheating allegations very disappointing

Date published: November 4 2019

Mattia Binotto admits Ferrari "screwed up" Charles Leclerc's Q3 in Abu Dhabi.

Mattia Binotto says it is “very disappointing” that Ferrari’s rivals reckon their lacklustre US GP was down to an FIA technical directive, all but accusing the Scuderia of cheating.

Earlier this year rivals raised questions about Ferrari’s power unit.

This resulted in a TD being issued ahead of the United States GP in which the FIA’s head of single-seater racing, Nikolas Tombazis, highlighted Article 5.10.5.

That states that “any device, system or procedure the purpose and/or effect of which is to increase the flow rate or to store and recycle fuel after the measurement point is prohibited.”

Ferrari missed out on pole position in Austin, the first time in seven races that they have not qualified P1.

Their performance in the grand prix was also disappointing with Max Verstappen telling Ziggo Sport that “you get that when you stop cheating”.

Verstappen’s comments following similar accusations from Lewis Hamilton in the wake of qualifying.

Binotto is not impressed.

“I read and I heard a lot of comments this weekend about a technical directive and an impact on our cars,” he told RaceFans.net. “I heard comments at the end of the race, which I think are very disappointing.

“As a matter of fact I believe that yesterday we have been very close to the pole position as it has been the last races. Seb could have scored pole yesterday if he hadn’t been too much cautious in one corner.

“Charles [Leclerc] had a clear problem in the morning, losing completely FP3, downgrade on the engine fitted to the car.

“Overall I think that looking at his performance in Q3 and what could have been done without the issue in the morning I’m pretty sure as well that he was potentially in the pole as well.”

He added: “I think it’s the type of comments which get it wrong and it’s not good for the sport and I think that everybody should be a bit more cautious.”

The Ferrari team boss insisted that the Scuderia had changed “nothing at all” since the TD was issued.

“Honestly we will look through the technical directive,” said Binotto. “We have not done it this weekend in detail.”

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