Scuderia Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto revealed the discussions about the 2020 F1 season where he stated that they are looking at ending at January 2021 too among other things.
While Ferrari has stopped working at its Maranello base due to the F1 summer shutdown but it is not deterring many from working at home, which includes team principal Binotto. The Italian is in discussions on a daily basis to salvage some of the 2020 season.
After the Barcelona pre-season tests, it all looked hunky-dory as they edged towards the Australian GP. But danger was walking parallel to them as the COVID-19 pandemic started to create havoc, not just in China but all around the world.
The end result being that the 2020 F1 season did not get underway in Australia and as things stand, it won’t be on until mid-June with Canadian GP – although that grand prix is not confirmed either as the virus is spreading quickly to that region.
F1 has already notified that they are looking for about 15-18 races in 2020, where they will fill up August with races as well and extend the season beyond the November date. It seemed like that December would be the only extension but it may go beyond that.
While speaking to Sky Sports Italia from his home, Binotto revealed couple of options which is being discussed among the teams and promoters. Apart from a reduced season – which is already known – he added that it could end in January 2021 as well.
Additionally, Binotto stated that there is an idea of running only on Saturday and Sunday as well, thereby eliminating the Friday practice, which will lessen the workload – something I have been telling too. “We teams, with F1 and FIA, we are talking,” the Italian stated.
“There are [many] hypothesis on the table, each of which is currently to be considered [by everyone of us]. A reduced World Championship or the hypothesis that the 2020 championship will end, for example in January 2021. At this moment we must be open to any hypothesis in order to race as many grand prix as possible.
“We have given them [F1 and FIA] carte blanche to set up a timetable as soon as possible, even deciding to eliminate the free practice on Friday and go to the track only on Saturdays and Sundays. Maybe make some grand prix near August. We must be ready, available and positive. At the moment we need flexibility and collaboration,” summed up Binotto.
On stopping the development of the cars for 2021, Binotto felt that it was the correct decision as it will help the smaller teams mostly. He added that the idea to have the summer shutdown in March/April was also needed due to work limitations.
Going back to the cancelled Australian GP, Binotto revealed that once they knew that the McLaren F1 member tested positive for COVID-19, they decided to pull out irrespective of the decision made by others – something Sebastian Vettel told Romain Grosjean too.
Binotto felt it was wrong to compete in such atmosphere and so they already decided to not race. That’s why they pushed Vettel and also Charles Leclerc to leave as soon as possible – the German was said to have left even before the cancellation was made official.
Among other topics, Binotto discussed about his daily routine where he is in constant touch with his whole team along with Vettel and Leclerc, with whom he speaks almost everyday. The Italian also answered some fan questions to round out the interview.
Here’s Ferrari updating on its work resumption
Here’s Romain Grosjean on speaking with Sebastian Vettel
Here’s Mattia Binotto on multiple topics
Here’s news on Ferrari helping Italian officials
Here’s F1 teams shutdown details
Here’s Pirelli notifying on 13-inch and 18-inch tyres
Here’s news on F1 deferring 2021 regs to 2022