Mattia Binotto has insisted he never had any doubts in the people alongside him tasked with getting Ferrari back to the top of F1.
It was only the first race of a probable 23 in the 2022 season, but Ferrari already find themselves with a 17-point lead at the top of the Constructors’ standings courtesy of a 1-2 finish for Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz in the Bahrain Grand Prix.
That represents a far cry from the depths of 2020, in particular that year’s Belgian and Italian Grands Prix when the Scuderia were even struggling to reach Q2.
A plan was mapped out by the Ferrari top brass to restore the team to former glories after the new regulations came along this year, and so far it is being executed superbly.
Binotto, the team principal whose position was thought to be under threat at one point during 2020, said he always had faith in those around him as he basked in Ferrari’s first Formula 1 victory since September 2019.
📻 Mattia in Abu Dhabi 2021: “We’ll have fun next year.”
The fun: pic.twitter.com/8H6DxG1B65
— Scuderia Ferrari (@ScuderiaFerrari) March 21, 2022
“It’s a great team result,” Binotto told Sky Italia. “I’m super-happy for the team.
“Personally, I’ve never doubted this team – maybe someone did.
“I know this team is strong, they proved that, they worked all together.
“The team became even closer after the issues faced in 2020. They made everything to improve and arrive prepared here. This is the best result we could have hoped for.
“It’s nice to arrive at a race and know we can fight to achieve the best result.”
Although they almost became something of a laughing stock at their worst moments of 2020, Binotto feels the Formula 1 world is a better place when Ferrari are shining.
“The hashtag Ferrari differentiates us from the others because we are different from the others,” added the 52-year-old Swiss-born engineer, who has been with Ferrari since 1995.
“We are the most winning team in F1 history. There is that passion behind, the support of the fans, the whole of Italy.
“It’s a result that gives mood in a difficult situation – first the coronavirus and now the war.
“So it’s great and I am personally proud of what we did together in these months in Maranello, working hard, trying to create a product that could get us here today to cheer.”
Ferrari will aim for a swift follow-up success in the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix this coming weekend.
Additional reporting by Luca Brambilla