Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto conceded on Thursday that however the upcoming Formula One season pans out, “we know that we need somehow to do better in 2021” after last year’s disastrous campaign.
Binotto was speaking at the team’s virtual launch on Friday ahead of the unveiling of their new car next month.
With Carlos Sainz replacing Sebastian Vettel alongside Charles Leclerc, Binotto and all the Scuderia’s legion of fans are anticipating a marked upturn in the team’s fortunes.
“Certainly last year was a big, big disappointment,” Binotto said of Ferrari’s worst season since 1980, when they mustered a mere 131 points compared to over 500 in 2019, and came in an embarrassing sixth in the constructors table.
“We know that we cannot repeat such a bad result,” said the man whose job it is to lead the famous F1 name out of the doldrums.
“That is what I’m expecting,” he added, “so I think it’s really a matter of mentality: team mentality, drivers’ mentality, and as Team Principal, no doubt I’m fully aware of the responsibility I’ve got, being part of such a team.
“I feel… not pressure, but I feel the responsibility, as well the pride, and I know that, as I said, initially we simply need to do better, and that’s part of my first responsibility.”
Ferrari’s hopes to turn the corner rest in large part on the SF21 car, which will be fitted with a brand new power unit and is due to be unveiled on March 10, two days before pre-season testing at the Bahrain International circuit ahead of the opening grand prix in the Gulf kingdom on March 28.
But Binotto was careful not to raise expectations, with Ferrari’s last win coming back in Singapore in 2019.
“What I think will (lead to our recovery) is our will to win,” he said.
“I’m not saying that we will win—I think that we need to be realistic.
“There are cars (champions Mercedes for instance) that have been very, very strong last year, and with the car (development) being partially frozen, they will be certainly very strong again in 2021.”