Brundle: Ferrari must support Binotto despite current shortcomings

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Ferrari must continue supporting Mattia Binotto despite their problematic start to the season, says Sky Sports' Martin Brundle.

Over the winter, the Scuderia took the decision to drop Maurizio Arrivabene and combine Binotto's technical director role with that of team boss.

Early signs looked good in pre-season testing, but after five races questions are already being asked after failing to win a race and only challenging Mercedes' dominance once.

"The Ferrari drivers are both making too many mistakes, and the team's race strategies lack clarity and conviction," Brundle said of where they were falling short.

"They are allowing an over-performing Max Verstappen in a temporarily mildly underperforming Red Bull to outshine them and even when they did have Merc on the ropes in Bahrain they blew it.

“However, the team must unequivocally and openly support their leader Mattia Binotto and build further support around him. Not discard him like some kind of football manager merry-go-round.

"He seems a decent man, a racer with absolute knowledge of all things Ferrari F1 and an approachable and inclusive manager at a time when the team needs stability."

The question is, can one man hold the top two positions in a racing team and perform both to the optimum?

“I asked Binotto on camera in Bahrain if he felt he could really handle a role which to a large extent Mercedes share between the considerable talents of Toto Wolff, James Allison and Andy Cowell among others," Brundle revealed.

"Binotto replied that he had the right people around him to complete the task.”

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To make the situation worse, Ferrari is under great scrutiny back in Italy, as the wait for championship success enters double figures in terms of years.

"Mercedes' hierarchy does not carry the weight of expectation and pressure of an entire nation and its demanding media like Ferrari do," the Sky Sports commentator noted.

"Binotto's scholarly calmness will be tested to the extreme which is why he needs support. I hope he has Ross Brawn on speed dial for advice too."