Stability key to upturn in form – Mattia Binotto

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Ferrari’s Technical Director Mattia Binotto thinks that stability in the team’s organisation was crucial in turning its fortunes around and bridging the performance gap to rival team Mercedes.

The fabled Italian team which is the most successful Formula One squad with its 16 Constructors’ Titles has enjoyed a significant lift in form since the beginning of the year. Ferrari claimed its last title in 2008 and has failed to excel since. For the first time after a decade-long dry spell, the Maranello-based team has a car which is capable of fighting for pole positions and victories on every type of course.

In 2018, Ferrari has claimed five victories so far and missed out on at least four others due to its own mistakes or unfortunate circumstances. Binotto thinks that the success was laid down last year when stability in the team's organisation was secured.

"Initially, I think it’s fair to say that our team, in terms of individuals, is very strong. We’ve got very high skills; it’s a fantastic team in that respect, whatever are the areas: from the power unit to the chassis and to the aero. I think what we’re benefiting the last seasons is certainly stability in terms of the organisation, which in F1 is very important, because through the stability somehow you may start to set down a way of working, improve your procedures, your internal process.”

Team work instead of individuals

The Losanna-born engineer earned his degree in mechanical engineering. After working for Ferrari since 1995, he was appointed Technical Director of the Italian team. Being responsible for the entire engineering group, he has tried to bring harmony into the team’s structure by stressing the importance of cooperation between team members instead of the influence of individuals.

"I think, relative to myself, I’m certainly not an expert in all the areas. 25 years of experience in F1; great time with Ferrari at the race track in the time of Michael Schumacher but always as a power unit man. When I grew up in that final role I think what was important for me was to set the objectives, then to make sure that the people were comfortable in their role, understood the internal process and work better not only as individuals but as a team. And where we’ve focussed all the effort is, I think, to make sure that the team was working properly as a team, and forgetting about the individuals.”

Asked which part of the car made the SF71H title contender, Binotto refused to pinpoint a specific element of the machine which contributed to the current performance level.

"And that’s why, again, I think we are thinking about the car as a fully package, and not try to split down in terms of different components or units because we are a team and what is running is not a power unit or a wing but a full car. So, again, all the effort was to build the team as a team and set the right objectives, deal with them, try to be ambitious. I think that’s somehow what happened in the last two years,” concluded the Italian.