Ferrari principal Mattia Binotto says “far too many” years have passed without a Drivers’ title for the team, but 2021 won’t change that.
They may be arguably the most iconic team in Formula 1, but Ferrari haven’t lifted a trophy to show for it since back in 2008 when they secured the Constructors’ Championship.
And a Drivers’ Championship has also proved elusive since Kimi Raikkonen’s triumph in 2007.
Recently it had seemed like the Scuderia were starting to build themselves back up to re-enter the title fight. Sebastian Vettel pushed Lewis Hamilton close for most of the 2017 season, while the second half of the 2019 season brought three race wins, two courtesy of Charles Leclerc while Vettel took the chequered flag at the Singapore Grand Prix.
However, 2020 has been nothing short of a disaster for Ferrari who find themselves P6 in the Constructors’ Championship comfortably adrift of rivals Mercedes both in terms of points and overall performance.
In an interview with Sky Italia, Binotto was reminded of Ferrari’s 21-year wait for another Drivers’ Championship after Jody Scheckter was crowned champion in 1979.
Michael Schumacher was the next driver in red to pull off the achievement in 2000, but Binotto said it wouldn’t be another 21-year wait, even if the current drought of 13 years is “far too many” for Ferrari to go without taking a driver to the title.
“It will not be 21 years, I am convinced,” he said.
“I experienced that phase of reconstruction first hand, with the victory in the Constructors’ Championship first and then in the Drivers’.
“Now many years have passed, far too many. We have fought for wins and we fought for the title a couple of times.
“There are many winless seasons, from 1990 to 1994 for example. This is a difficult and particular season, both for the difficulties we have and for the particular context of Covid. We have not been able to develop and modify, 2022 is upon us soon and we have to put a lot of energy into it. It’s a season that will be an exception.”
— Scuderia Ferrari (@ScuderiaFerrari) November 4, 2020
Ferrari along with Red Bull are the teams that have come closest to ending Mercedes’ dominance, but the Silver Arrows have remained on top of the sport since the turbo-hybrid era was introduced in 2014.
The new regulations coming for 2022 are designed to reset Formula 1 and put the teams on more of a level playing field, but could they actually create the platform for further dominance, whether it be by Mercedes or another team that aces them like the Silver Arrows have done for the past seven seasons?
“The regulation as it was written is very restrictive, so there are few opportunities to come up with something out of the ordinary,” Binotto replied.
“The idea is correct: try to increase the entertainment, the cars will lose less aerodynamic performance when following the one in front. This direction is correct.”
Before that though, could Ferrari get themselves involved in the 2021 title fight?
“Realistically no, for the World Championship I honestly think not,” Binotto admitted.
“We must return to fighting regularly for the podium, this must be our goal.”