Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto thinks that strategy calls are not their weakness but admits that improvement is needed.
Ferrari’s strategy calls were in the spotlight on several occasions this season. Nevertheless, Binotto disagreed with the criticism.
“I think there’s always a way of improving ourselves. You cannot be perfect, and you will never be perfect. So no doubt, we need to improve ourselves on the aero, chassis, power unit, on strategy or whatever we can,” he said in an interview with Motorsport.com.
“But having said that, I think I have got a great team on the strategy, and I do not feel it’s a weakness.”
One of the controversial calls occurred at the British GP when only Carlos Sainz got Soft tires during the Safety Car, while Charles Leclerc stayed out on the Hards. Sainz passed Leclerc at the restart and won the race. The Monegasque crossed the finish line right outside the podium.
Binotto made a reference to the situation Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton were in on the final laps of the 2021 Abu Dhabi GP and defended both decisions.
“I think that what was the right decision for Lewis, I think was maybe the right one still,” he commented.
“From the outside, yes, Max [Verstappen] won the championship. But Max would have always done the opposite. If he would have been ahead [had Hamilton stopped] then how would he have finished the race? We don’t know.
“So if, in Silverstone, Charles would have come in, and Lewis stayed out with fresh tires. How the race would have finished? I don’t know.
“So even with hindsight, I don’t know what the answer is. But, by the way, no one discusses and argues over their [Mercedes] decision at the time.
“Everybody believes that they can somehow argue what we decided at Silverstone.”
Binotto added: “While maybe you may see Monaco, Silverstone, and Paul Ricard as issues, I don’t see them as issues because I think we made sometimes the right decisions.
“I’m not convinced right now that what we made was wrong. I am still convinced that we made what was the right decision at the time. Unlucky sometimes but not wrong.
“And I think if you look at our strategy team, sometimes they are doing even great things, even greater than the others.
“We had the right strategy in Austria and the others not. We had probably the best strategy in France before the mistake of Charles.
“And I think that’s showing: we have been brave enough in France to bring two Mediums in the race when the others had Hards. To do that you need to be not only strong but brave.
“So overall, we’ve got a good team and I do not think that is a weakness to us.”