Di Montezemolo hails ‘united, determined’ Ferrari

Jon Wilde
Mattia Binotto grabs Charles Leclerc. Bahrain March 2022.

Mattia Binotto grabs Charles Leclerc after his victory in the Bahrain Grand Prix. Sakhir March 2022.

Luca di Montezemolo has congratulated Ferrari on their brilliant start to the season – and singled out Mattia Binotto and Charles Leclerc for praise.

Ferrari already have a 39-point lead in the Constructors’ Championship after just three races and Leclerc, who has won two of those and finished a close second in the other, is 34 clear at the top of the Drivers’ standings.

Evidently the Scuderia have mastered the new F1 regulations better than any of their rivals and are tasting victory for the first time since 2019, after two years when their fortunes nosedived with 2020 a particularly bad campaign for the Italian giants.

Di Montezemolo was the president of Ferrari from 1991-2014, so he knows all about success having overseen the golden era at the start of this century when the team won six consecutive Constructors’ titles and five successive Drivers’ crowns through Michael Schumacher.

The 74-year-old naturally hopes the team managed by Binotto will continue as they have started and go on to land their first championship since 2008 when Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen’s combined efforts left them 21 points ahead of McLaren.

“It’s great to see such a competitive Ferrari after such a long time. Congratulations to Binotto and all the guys in the team who have worked extremely well, united and determined,” Di Montezemolo told Corriere della Sera.

“Leclerc has been able to prove he is a driver of the highest level. The season is long, the rivals won’t sleep, but we couldn’t have started better than this. Onwards like this.”

Binotto, the team principal, is not getting carried away, however, even though Ferrari have had five podium finishes from a possible six so far this term.

“We are not managing the championship,” said the Swiss-born 52-year-old after Leclerc had won the Australian Grand Prix. “It’s only three races. We stay focused on every single race and that is the way we will approach.

“That one (Australia) was great. In all truth, to do a good weekend and to win you need to be perfect.

“That was the case in Bahrain because it was always very tight. We were not perfect in Jeddah and we lost (to Max Verstappen). Here, again we have had a great weekend and that is how we need to approach it.


“To do well in difficult conditions, like in Australia, is always a great satisfaction. The credit goes to the group – we all worked by staying united and trying to raise the bar, and the fruit of the work shows.”


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