Mattia Binotto talks about differences in handling of Mercedes’ strategy problems with theirs, as he adds on about them catching up for P2 fight.

Since Red Bull have really upped the ante and come into their own, Ferrari have by contrast seen a dip in form to a certain degree. No wins in 10 Grands Prix, Binotto has been garnering criticism from several sources with many putting his job in jeopardy too.

The Hungarian GP back in August, which seems so long ago saw the Maranello outfit come under the radar and scrutiny and be criticised for their hard tyre usage. However, both Red Bull and Mercedes realised it would not work for their drivers.

Fast forward some races and Mercedes came so close to breaking their duck for wins in 2022 at COTA and it was down, like Ferrari at Hungary to tyres with a similar situation being played about in Mexico where the German outfit chose the wrong strategy.

Ferrari have so far been criticised in many quarters particularly in the second part of 2022 and purely all to do with their strategy. They seemingly become an easy target for many, but with Mercedes making similar mistakes, they are let go which Binotto has noticed too.

“In Hungary, Ferrari have been criticised,” said Binotto when asked about this difference. “Normally, when Ferrari are doing things which are not completely right, we are criticised. Mercedes may have lost the last race as well, not choosing the right tyres in Austin. It’s not only down to Ferrari somehow to make different choices or making mistakes”.

“In Mexico, why we come to the conclusion before the race? In terms of strategies, starting on soft and then medium was the best choice because we tested the tyres on Friday. We saw that there was not much degradation on the soft or sufficient to run a one stop of medium. And we went for it”.

“Certainly then in the race we had to manage our tyres as well. This to make sure that we’re surviving on one stop. That maybe, as well, is part of the cause of our slower pace today. Managing tyres has been certainly an item, a subject for Ferrari. Still we believe that soft medium was the right choice for the race,” summed up Binotto, who also admitted about Ferrari still needing to work on its tyre management.

Mercedes have been one of the most consistent teams all season despite no wins at their disposable and apparent lack of pace. They are close to win number one for the campaign with two rounds to go. They are on the up and hungry while Ferrari who have been there have lost their way a little over the last number of races.

“Certainly it has not always been great if I look at the last races,” said Binotto when asked about its fight against Mercedes. “In Singapore, we have been very competitive. The race after – which was Japan, it was in the wet. We were not as fast. But it was not a drama and certainly not in the quali. In the states, Austin, in Mexico, again, in the quali we were competitive. Not as much as we would have expected in the race”.

“In Mexico, it was a lot worse. It is not the same trend because Singapore competitive, Japan not too bad, USA good quali. So Mexico has been a lot more difficult. I’m hoping that at least… that’s not a trend. Ferrari need to try to be back to be competitive. Or at least to what is Ferrari’s level of competitiveness for the last two races including Sao Paulo. So we hope certainly to be there and to fight for a better result”.

“Now, Mercedes is coming back right as they have developed more the car than we did. We know as well ourselves that we stopped quite early the development of that car to focus on 2023. So I’m not too concerned by the rate of development because I know as well by when we stopped developing it,” summed up Binotto.

The focal point is that Ferrari are looking at next year while Mercedes are looking to salvage at least one win from this campaign. Perhaps if Ferrari hadn’t stopped their development they might’ve gained more wins or if strategy had been better, results ditto.

Here’s Mercedes, Red Bull drivers in Las Vegas GP show run

Here’s Charles Leclerc on hope that Mexico was one-off

Here’s Mattia Binotto, Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz on Mexico