Binotto denies reports of a divided Ferrari garage

Sam Cooper
Mattia Binotto on the Ferrari pit wall. Imola April 2021.

Mattia Binotto on the Ferrari pit wall at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. Imola April 2021.

Mattia Binotto has played down claims the Ferrari garage was divided following Carlos Sainz’s win at Silverstone.

In what should have been a day of celebration, a report emerged from a former Ferrari insider that all was not well inside the paddock.

The insider claimed Charles Leclerc’s side of the garage had refused to attend the podium ceremony and missed the following photoshoot after being angry with the way the team had handled him during the race.

The Monégasque saw the win slip through his fingers as Ferrari first failed to allow him to pass Sainz despite being the quicker of the two drivers before then not pitting him during the Safety Car period, which meant he slipped from holding the lead to finish P4.

In response to the report, Binotto said he was “surprised” and that it was something he had personally checked on to see how true the statements were.

“That was not true,” Binotto told Autosport.

“When I heard or I read it, [I was] surprised. What I did was to check because, you never know, maybe there is something I missed. But I checked and that was not the case at all.

“[I’m] surprised and again disappointed to read that sometimes there are things written which do not correctly say what was happening.

“Yes, the team was not fully happy at the time because we lost an opportunity after the Safety Car. But very happy for Carlos, who won his first race ever at Silverstone. He did a fantastic weekend starting from pole and then the race itself.

“The entire team was there cheering on Carlos. So no issues there.”


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Leclerc himself has also poured cold water on any rumours of discontent and said the Ferrari team members missing from the photo had actually left to catch a departing flight rather than refused to attend as part of a protest

“It is a shame to see all of this type of things because it is definitely not what is happening inside the team,” the 24-year-old told Sky Sports F1. “We are a very united team, we have always been and it’s not these difficult races that will make a change.

“Of course we were disappointed after last weekend. I think we were because speaking about last weekend, I think we are one-two [then] we finished one-four, so of course some parts of the team were disappointed. But this was definitely not the reason or whatsoever for not everybody being on the picture.

“Actually, I think half of the team that stayed on [for the picture] missed the plane to go back home and it was quite tricky.

“If we want the full details of it, we wanted to do a picture first but Carlos was not here. So we had to delay everything.

“But there’s no hard feelings or whatsoever. Of course there’s disappointment because of my side. I can only be disappointed obviously leading the race and and finishing fourth. But everyone was  very happy for Carlos and this is the feeling there is inside the team.”