Mattia Binotto insists Ferrari will not accelerate along their mapped-out path of progress just because they have a sniff of a World Championship.
During their nadir of the 2020 season, the Italian giants reviewed all aspects of their F1 operation and planned what they needed to do if they were to return to the sport’s pinnacle.
At the time, Ferrari were languishing in the midfield, even finding themselves at the rear of that division at the Belgian and, embarrassingly, the Italian Grands Prix, as they put in place the people and systems to try and reverse the decline.
The set aim was to become race winners again by 2022 when the new era of regulations came in – and they took only one race to achieve that as Charles Leclerc triumphed at the season-opener in Bahrain.
Now, even though Red Bull have seized the lead of both World Championships, there is still every opportunity for the Scuderia, with the impressively quick F1-75 car, to sustain a title challenge.
But although that chance is there, team principal Binotto says Ferrari will not divert from their original targets.
“We set our objectives to be back competitive in 2022,” Binotto told the BBC. “So our objective is to be competitive, not to win the championship, and it would be completely wrong to turn that into ‘let’s try to win the championship because we are so competitive’.
“Being competitive is one fact. Becoming World Champion is another level of task.
“[Saying] that is maybe to take off some pressure from the team, but also I think it would be wrong as management to change objectives from the ones we gave them.”
But that does not mean Ferrari are not looking for titles in the foreseeable future – and perhaps even another golden age like they enjoyed with Michael Schumacher in the opening years of this century.
“No doubt what we intend to do is to try to open a cycle, become World Champion and not only once, try to stay there. But I think it will take time,” added Binotto.
“Our internal mindset is still we need to improve as a team to be capable of winning a championship.
“It doesn’t mean we will not do it. Maybe we will do it as soon as possible, but we are conscious of the fact it is more than only being competitive.
“The ambition is there. Each single person working for Ferrari has the ambition. I don’t think I need to remind them.
“More important is to let them focus on our process of continuous improvement, so each race is an opportunity for lesson-learned review and to build to do something better.
“And it is important to stay focused on each single race. We are not looking at the classifications.”