APRIL 5, 2019
Binotto era eases pressure on Ferrari
Mattia Binotto has succeeded in easing the pressure on the shoulders of those at Ferrari.
That is the claim from within the fabled Italian team, with long-time tester Marc Gene telling the Dutch publication Formule 1: "You always feel pressure at Ferrari.
"But you can feel that pressure less strongly than before."
That is despite the fact that after a strong winter season, Ferrari encountered pace problems in Australia before a technical fault spoiled Charles Leclerc's bid for a first win in Bahrain.
Gene says the response from Binotto has been different compared to what would have happened in the Maurizio Arrivabene era.
"A thorough analysis was made as to why it went wrong, adjustments were made and now the car is now back to the level of the tests in Barcelona," he said.
Former racing driver and now Sky Italia analyst Davide Valsecchi agrees that Arrivabene was "hard and sometimes aggressive", while Binotto is "much more flexible".
"He has taken all the politics out of the team," he said.
And in that environment, Leclerc is now tipped to thrive.
"He will fight for the title this year, for sure," Valsecchi said. "He is already at least equal to Vettel in terms of speed.
"And he can handle the pressure of Ferrari."
Gene agrees that it was the "right decision" to replace Kimi Raikkonen with the "younger" Leclerc.