Robert Doornbos feels Ferrari change overdue amidst Mattia Binotto sack talk

Henry Valantine
Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto and Charles Leclerc at the Canadian Grand Prix. Montreal, June 2022.

Ferrari's Mattia Binotto and Charles Leclerc at the Canadian Grand Prix. Montreal, June 2022.

Former Formula 1 driver Robert Doornbos thinks Ferrari made “so many mistakes” in 2022 that changes at the top should have come as far back as the summer break.

The future of team principal Mattia Binotto has been under the microscope of late, with rumours circulating that he is set to lose his job at the top of Ferrari after a season which saw the Scuderia finish second in both championships, but ultimately far short of a title challenge which they felt was possible.

The F1-75 took 12 pole positions in the 22-race season between Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz respectively, but the two drivers only managed to convert them into four race victories between them.

Both have acknowledged the need for improvements to be made at Ferrari if they are to sustain a fight with Red Bull and Max Verstappen next year, but if recent reports from Italy become reality, there could be a new team principal at the helm in 2023.

Doornbos, who raced for Minardi and Red Bull in 2005 and ’06 in his Formula 1 career, feels the myriad of errors at Ferrari in the first half of the season should have been enough for changes to have been enforced at Maranello, rather than carrying on until the end of the year in the same state.

“That is something I can really get excited about: a listed company, such a big team, so much investment, so much pressure to finally achieve success again – and then you perform like that,” Doornbos wrote in a column for Top Gear Magazine in the Netherlands.

“They realised in Barcelona that they have a car with which they could potentially compete for a world title… and then you make so many mistakes that are unnecessary.

“Strategic mistakes, pit stop mistakes and just blunders. And on top of that the drivers throwing it away themselves. Then you’re just not ready to attack against a well-oiled machine like Red Bull.

“I still find it incredible that they then didn’t make any management changes in the summer break and that no heads rolled.

“Sure, that sounds acrimonious, but that does happen at other organisations that don’t perform and fail so often. As long as there are no consequences, the mistakes keep piling up.

“It’s just embarrassing at the moment, so I can see things changing in the winter break. The performance is bad for the sport and also bad for Ferrari’s image. In my view, this can’t go on like this.”

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