Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto has hit back at rumors and comments about his team’s performance loss in the United States Grand Prix following the publication of a technical directive.
The FIA issued a technical directive ahead of the race weekend relating to the way fuel flow is measured, following a request from Red Bull. Lewis Hamilton then stated it would be interesting to see how Ferrari performs after the technical directive, and with Charles Leclerc comfortably off the pace during the race while Sebastian Vettel retired, Max Verstappen then insinuated the lack of competitiveness was due to the FIA’s move.
“I read and I heard a lot of comments this weekend about a technical directive and the impact on our cars,” Binotto said. “I heard comments at the end of the race, which I feel very disappointing. As a matter of fact, I believe yesterday we have been very close to the pole position as it has been in the last races.
“I think that Seb could have scored the pole yesterday, maybe he was a bit too much cautious in one corner. Charles had a clear problem in the morning, losing completely FP3, we fitted a downgrade on the engine in the car, and overall I think that looking at his performance in Q3 and what could have been done without the issue in the morning, I’m pretty sure that as well he was potentially in the fight for pole as well. So I don’t see where is the problem.
“If we look at the race today, we may comment later on, but certainly the speed on the straights was not our issue, while we’ve got clear problems on the grip on the car first stint both drivers. Again it’s type of comments I feel are completely wrong. It’s not good for the sport and I think everybody should be a bit more cautious.”
And Binotto insists Ferrari has yet to give the technical directive a thorough look, saying he is unsure how it may impact the team and in which sessions.
“Honestly we will look through the technical directive,” Binotto said. “We have not done it this weekend in detail, we’ve seen I think it’s number 35 of the season. It’s a process where teams may ask clarification to the FIA, and the FIA is replying. Will it have impact in the race or qualifying? I don’t know, not able to answer you.”
One problem Ferrari clearly had was with Vettel’s right rear suspension when it failed exiting Turn 9, with Binotto adding it still needs to analyze the incident fully.
“No explanation yet,” Binotto stated. “Not clear even if the suspension as broken since the very start, could be, initial feeling was something was wrong with the car so maybe it was broken. But from the data and when it has been broken it’s not clear yet.”