Today’s race was one of Ferrari’s best results in two years, as they finished in P4 and P5. Nonetheless, Mattia Binotto admitted that the team was really disappointed about not finishing on the podium, revealing why Leclerc struggled so much at the restart.
On lap 32, the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix was red-flagged after a horrific crash involving George Russell and Valtteri Bottas. Lewis Hamilton lost control of his W12 a few seconds before the red flag, which helped Leclerc clinch the second position right before the race was stopped.
Leclerc, therefore, would have had a real podium opportunity if he managed to resist a very aggressive Lando Norris that resumed the race on soft tires, while the Monegasque was on the mediums.
Unfortunately for Ferrari, Leclerc had a bad race restart in which he was overtaken by Norris and never managed to claim his position back afterward. He finished the race in P4 while his teammate, Sainz, finished in a very strong P5.
Mattia Binotto admitted being satisfied with the team’s improvement compared to last year but was still disappointed not to see his Monegasque protégé finish on the podium, which could have been a real morale boost for Ferrari.
“We are happy with the performance. If I think about where we were last year, when we paid a second from pole, I’m satisfied. We did well in qualifying and in the race, both in the dry and in the wet, at a different track than Bahrain. We have some weak points, but we know where to work,” Binotto said.
“Carlos has performed very well. He’s integrating. He drove very well in the wet. Yesterday’s qualifying was an exception and I expect him to be very strong in the next races as well.”
“The whole team is disappointed. We are all convinced that today we could have obtained a better placing. Seeing a bitter team, however, is for me a positive sign because it means that there is a desire to win,” he added.
The Italian team principal also revealed a very interesting fact, justifying the bad race restart from Leclerc. The Monegasque was encountering radio issues right before resuming the race and even asked his engineer to disconnect his earbuds at some point.
“On the restart we were unlucky. Charles was having problems with his radio, he could hear us but we couldn’t communicate with him and he didn’t know from the rolling start. He thought it was a re-start from the grid.”