12 races of the 2022 season have already passed Formula 1 and that initial euphoria of Ferrari, when Charles Leclerc won two of the first three competitions and was second in the remaining, and it seemed the car to beat for the other participants, mutated into concern and the appearance of the old ghosts. It is that after the glorious era of German Michael Schumacherwith five championships won (between 2000 and 2004), the team He only obtained one title: that of the Finn Kimi Raikkonen in 2007, favored by the bid between Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso at McLaren and which ended up harming the English team.
Ferrari dreamed again in this 2022 and with that illusion, all the tifosi. That proliferate throughout the automotive world. Because in addition to Leclerc there is the Spanish Carlos Sainz Jr.of outstanding performances. But the truth is that after that hellish start, technological problems, management errors, bad team strategies abounded. The most recent of the “sins” occurred last Sunday, at the French Grand Prix, when Leclerc spun while riding first, he crashed into the protective tire barrier and retired. This allowed him to Max Verstappen, the champion, claim the victory for which he seemed unable to fight. And more: the Dutchman was 63 points ahead of Leclerc, that is, at least two races and a fraction of an advantage. When there are 10 races left to complete the season.
Ferrari’s mistakes are not like the mistakes of the other Formula 1 teams: have more impact than others on social networks. And in the mood in the fans of the team in every corner of the planet, including those who attend every competition. Mistakes in strategies or management result in a “rain of memes” on the networks, and one of the most pointed out is usually Mattia Binotto, team manager. The man of determinations. The same one that, this year, he decided to postpone the decision too much about which was driver 1 and which was Ferrari 2, granting greater facilities to the relentless Red Bull. With a voracious Verstappen every time a gap opens up. Thus, the champion has seven victories in 2022. Checo Pérez scored one, while Ferrari took four: three from Leclerc and one from Sainz Jr.
The difference in teams is such that Red Bull has already taken an 82-point lead over Ferrari in the Constructors’ World Championship. Which places Binotto in the eye of the storm. The man who never changes his countenance. A Ferrari is leading and Binotto has a bland expression. That Ferrari crashes into a wall and Binotto remains unperturbed. Leclerc’s or Sainz Jr.’s car stops in the pits and at the tire change the mechanics take 3 seconds longer than normal, damaging the driver’s chances, and Binotto does not blink. Unchangeable rictus that inflames the tifosi.
Certainly, the 63 points that Red Bull has not yet defined the championship. But from the dome of Ferrari they do not show the best signs, precisely. This, beyond a marked optimism. What did Binotto say in recent days, phrases that some saw as if he had thrown gasoline on the campfire?
“If now we depend on some Red Bull stumble to have chances in the championship? I really don’t know, I have no idea, because I don’t count the points. If you had asked me before the race at Paul Ricard what was the difference with Red Bull or with Max, I couldn’t answer them because I’m not looking at her.”said, without blushing, Binotto.
Leclerc’s accident in France
Not knowing whether he said it ironically or not, Binotto pointed forward. “What we are focused on is trying to go to each race and get the maximum result in each one. It didn’t happen at Paul Ricard, but I think we are already focused on Hungary and on going there for the double, on achieving 1-2 with our drivers”.
As if I weren’t in a situation that warranted greater rigor, Binotto appealed to mathematics to reflect your feelings. “I believe that each race counts the same as the others. At the end of the season, we will do the math and see where we are, ”she maintained. A reflection that did not go down well with Ferrari fans.
“I think the demonstration we gave at Paul Ricard before Leclerc got lost leaves us calm. We saw a very fast car, with the potential to have an impressive run. I think that’s the most important thing: to see that we have a good car. I like to be positive. I like to be optimistic. And so I say that there is no reason not to win all 10 races between now and the end of the championship. The potential is there. The pilots are fantastic. So I’m pretty positive.”
To do this, Binotto says he talked a lot with Leclerc, second in the championship with 170 points against Verstappen’s 233. Third is the Mexican Sergio “Checo” Pérez, with the other Red Bull, with 163, and fourth, Sainz Jr, with 144. “What I have told Charles is that things are more complicated, but not impossible.. And we’re just going to enjoy it more if we can turn it into a win at the end. Could something happen to Max Verstappen and Red Bull? It already happened to them as it has happened to us.
Maybe it will happen too.”
And he repeated the possibility of a perfect performance from now until the end of the championship. “We have to be focused in each of the races. If I look at the latest tests, we always had great potential. It did not become the best results in terms of points for the championship, but right now there is no reason for which in the next 10 races it cannot happen”, concluded Binotto.
Within the concept of “no reason”, Binotto will have to cross out the great karmas of Ferrari throughout the year. The ones who tifosi they do not forget and regret permanently. Unlike the seemingly unconcerned team manager, they do count points religiously.