Mattia Binotto declares Ferrari’s 2022 upgrades are done for this season

Michelle Foster
Carlos Sainz in the Ferrari rear shot. Japan October 2022

Ferrari’s upgrades for the 2022 season ended with the new floor they ran at the Japanese Grand Prix, says team boss Mattia Binotto.

This season operating under a budget cap of $140m, plus the extra three per cent the FIA allowed for inflation, the Formula 1 teams have had to balance developing their all-new ground effect aerodynamic cars against the cost cap.

It has seen the teams take a mixed approached to updating their cars, some regularly bringing minor tweaks and others going for sporadic but big upgrades.

Ferrari, having held off on making any changes to the car in the first five races, brought their first big package at the Spanish Grand Prix, the two biggest changes being to the floor and the car’s bodywork.

Since then there have been several updates to the rear wing and floor with Ferrari reportedly having to modify the latter when the FIA introduced TD39 at the Belgian Grand Prix.

The floor has now undergone what will be its last upgrade, the Scuderia tweaking the design of the underfloor and the floor stakes at the Japanese GP where they also repositioned the floor stay.

That is now it for the season says Binotto.

He told Motorsport.com that the Suzuka updates “represents the last development of this season” with Ferrari’s focus turning to 2023.

The report says the decision is a financial one as the ‘last bit of budget Ferrari had has been used for technical developments to the car in Singapore and Japan.

‘This latest development means Ferrari will not invest any more money in this year’s car as they are now at this season’s budget limit.’

Carlos Sainz, Ferrari and Sergio Perez, Red Bull, race. Italy, September 2022.

Pace is not Ferrari’s problem, it’s overall performance

While one could say that pride is still at stake, so too is P2 in the championships, Ferrari are right to switch their focus to 2023.

The big prize is gone, Max Verstappen has won the Drivers’ Championship title, and the money prize, the Constructors’ Championship, is also going to Red Bull barring a complete meltdown from the Milton Keynes squad.

It’s simply a case of try again next year.

But in order to get it right Ferrari have a lot of ground to make up on Red Bull.

The F1-75, which will be the basis for next year’s car, has fallen behind the RB18 in recent weeks. Not so much because of its pace but because of tyre wear that’s impacting the overall performance.

Ferrari have, somewhere in their spate of upgrades, got something wrong, something that is abusing their tyres.

It was evident at Suzuka when Sergio Perez reeled in Charles Leclerc in the final laps, the Mexican driver able to attack while Leclerc was barely hanging on with his intermediates that had turned to slicks.

In the end he couldn’t hang on, the driver off the track and penalised five seconds which dropped him behind Perez in the results – and gave Verstappen the extra points he needed to secure the title.

Said to suspect that their search for more downforce has reduced the car’s working window, Ferrari need to focus on finding a solution ahead of next season. This year’s already over.

Read more: Jacques Villeneuve: Ferrari blunders have started to rub off on Charles Leclerc