Binotto happy as Ferrari focus on operational gains over McLaren fight

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Mattia Binotto has praised Ferrari's recent progress, stating that is more important than beating McLaren in 2021.

After their worst Formula 1 season in 40 years in 2020, the Scuderia has been on the recovery path with only one pointless weekend in the first nine races of this year.

But with Ferrari already focusing development fully on the new 2022 regulations in a bid to return to the front of the grid, the in-season gains have come from other areas.

“First, you should be aware that the car itself is exactly the same as we had in Bahrain," Binotto revealed via in Austria.

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"Very little changes, the focus has been more in trying to exploit the maximum potential of the car throughout the weekend and make sure in terms of racing and driving in the weekend we are doing the right and proper job.

"The way you approach the weekend, tyre management, strategy as well and if I look at those areas, I would say from the very start of the year we have made progress.

“It has only been I think two weekends where in terms of strategy we made improper choices, but I think there is still room for improvement and that is where our focus is with the team and the drivers.

"But so far I think we have made progress and the team is coming more together, not only in terms of spirit but the way we are acting and gaining through the weekends.”

While results have been pretty consistent, Ferrari's strengths have fluctuated from two pole positions for Charles Leclerc in Monaco and Baku to near-Mercedes level race pace in Austria.

“I think it’s more down to track layout rather than a different approach,” Binotto claimed.

"We need some more speed on the straights which still we are lacking. Our good limited grip performance has somehow given us a good race pace, but again I don’t think it’s down to a different approach.

"We tried to focus on the race stints to make sure that we didn’t fall into the same situation as tyres front wear but I don’t think it’s simply the approach itself but more the circuits.”

In what is a four-level Constructors' Championship, Ferrari and McLaren are alone in their battle for third, with the Woking-based team holding a 19-point lead.

However, the Italian team isn't worried about that.

“How much is it important for us to get points on McLaren? It isn’t,” Binotto said.


“As I said at the start of the season, our main objectives is to make sure we are progressing in view of the next year and the next seasons and making sure we are doing better in every single area, making sure we are learning from the mistakes, for example in France.

“For us, the third position is an objective but not the main one. The main one is as a team we are improving and being competitive in the future. So yes, great we got some points in the Cnstructors’ but that should not be our top objective in the season.

“And the fact both our drivers are doing well as opposed to McLaren – I’m not judging the others, I will not start doing it, I will only judge ourselves and I will say I’m very proud the way our drivers are fitting into the team.”