Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto doesn’t believe his promotion from technical chief this season is linked to the team’s reliability issues.
The Scuderia have struggled to fight for wins for large parts of the season so far, though Charles Leclerc had a golden opportunity to score his first win at the Bahrain Grand Prix before being struck down with an engine failure.
Both Leclerc and team-mate Sebastian Vettel have also been left out of place on the grid on several occasions after encountering issues, most recently in Germany where Vettel was unable to set a competitive Q1 lap while Leclerc failed to partake in Q3.
Despite the problems, Binotto insists his promotion from technical chief to team principal ahead of the season has not caused the technical side of Ferrari to be weakened.
“I don’t think that’s the cause – even if I do not have an answer at the moment, to be honest. It’s true that many problems occurred which should not,” Binotto told Motorsport.com.
“Sometimes it’s only a matter of priority, a priority on developments on reliability, depends on where you are in position [in the Championship]. But as well, you don’t fix reliability by only fixing the problems you got, you fix reliability by having the right approach to the reliability, and that’s something which at the moment we are brainstorming.”
Ferrari recently moved to restructure their behind the scenes work, with Simone Resta, who returned after a spell with Alfa Romeo to become the new head of chassis engineering, forming part of a group of new specialist roles, with the chassis, power unit and supply chain among areas all to get designated staff.
A new floor introduced at the French Grand Prix failed to bring the desired rewards for Ferrari, but Binotto believes it helped with future development of the SF90.
“We brought a floor that didn’t work as expected, I think that since then we understand the reason, and somehow helped us now in being more accurate when delivering parts to the racetrack, and that’s part of, let me say, the entire know-how of the team,” Binotto explained.
“Often I’ve said that we are still young as a team, because here people [have had] little time in the new role, and the know-how is something you build through the season, through the time, through the years.
“So that’s why I’m very happy when problems may happen and we are addressing them – obviously in the meantime you are missing opportunities of performance, but I think the car is progressing, which is showing that the team is capable of delivering.
“I think that’s why we need to stay calm, be focused and passionate, because it’s only by staying passionate and looking at the future that eventually, in the mid-to-long-term, if you’ve done the right investments, you will be competitive.”