Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto hailed the efforts of his race strategists after helping Charles Leclerc finish second in the F1 2022 Drivers’ Championship.
Leclerc and Sergio Perez came into the final round of the 2022 F1 championship at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, tied on points in the battle for second.
Throughout the first stint of the race at Yas Marina, Perez held second place, but when Red Bull called him in earlier than expected for his second stop, Leclerc jumped the Mexican by staying out on track.
Despite the Mexican’s late advances he managed to cling onto second position with Carlos Sainz’s fourth place also wrapping up second place in the 2022 F1 Constructors’ Championship.
“It is great for the team, it’s great for the strategists, and it’s great for someone who had a solid weekend,” Binotto told the press after the race in Abu Dhabi.
“Today, certainly, we did a proper job dummying Red Bull with the pit stop was the right call, so happy for them and happy for the team.
“I think when Ferrari makes mistakes, there is a lot of criticism, but as well as I know these guys can do very well.”
With warm temperatures in Abu Dhabi, tyre management became a crucial part of the weekend.
For Ferrari, this meant being more gentle on the tyres and not pushing too hard in the opening stint, a gamble that paid off.
“As far as I am concerned it was a very difficult weekend for tyre degradation and tyre management,” Binotto said.
“If I look at what we did during the weekend, starting from Friday to put some more effort on the race simulations to ensure we had a right balance for the race.
“Charles did very well. Carlos had some difficulties we’ll debrief with him later on. I think it’s more down to the car balance, but it’s something we need to understand as well.”
The double P2 caps off a season of two halves for Ferrari as after wins in Bahrain and Australia, the team lead both championships heading into the 2022 Emilia Romagna GP.
But Ferrari quickly lost ground to Red Bull, who recovered from their disappointing start to the season to win 17 of the final 22 races, sealing both championships with three Grand Prix to spare.
Ferrari improvements for 2023
Reflecting on the season, Binotto feels that the team’s reliability and uncharacteristically sluggish race pace are the two key areas that the team need to improve on for 2023.
“I don’t think there is only one as our ups and downs were coming from different areas,” Binotto continued.
“First, reliability is a top priority because in order to win; you need to be reliable and it hasn’t been the case this season.
“The second is the speed of the car as although we’ve fast in Qualifying, it’s not always the case in the race.”
“In terms of development Red Bull had a clear route which was reducing the weight of the car which wasn’t our case and somehow they know how to tackle performance out of the car itself.
“If I look back, maybe the development we did wasn’t sufficient. We stopped very early, not just as a choice but because of expenditure reasons. It’s something we need to review.”