‘We need to respond’ – Binotto urges Ferrari to hit back after second straight Verstappen win


Ferrari Team Principal Mattia Binotto has called on the squad to mount a firm rebuttal to Red Bull after Max Verstappen took his second consecutive win on Sunday at Miami.

While the Scuderia lead both championships, their constructors’ lead has been cut down to just six points and Charles Leclerc (P2 in Miami) is only 19 ahead of Verstappen in the drivers’ standings. After the race, Binotto unpacked his team’s performance, which saw Carlos Sainz finish third having held off a compromised Sergio Perez.

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"We can’t be completely happy with today’s race because, although the F1-75 was competitive, our rivals were a few tenths per lap quicker than us,” he said.

“If you consider how many points we are taking home from here, we can’t be too disappointed, given that we are leading both championships, but it’s clear we now need to respond. We are keen to get the job done and there are still a lot of races to go.”

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Binotto pointed out that Red Bull, who brought upgrades to Imola while Ferrari brought a small upgrade package to Miami, have edged ahead in the performance stakes – but the balance could turn again given the lengthy season and development war.

“It’s true that Red Bull improved their car, improved it since the very start of the season. If I looked at the last two races, maybe they got a couple of tenths per lap faster to us. It’s no doubt that in order to keep the pace we will need to develop ourselves with new upgrades.”

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As usual, teams are expected to bring more significant upgrades to the Spanish Grand Prix (May 20-22) – and Binotto hinted strongly that Ferrari would probably not be an exception.

MIAMI, FLORIDA - MAY 08: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (1) Oracle Red Bull Racing

Binotto estimated that Red Bull had pulled out "a couple of tenths" in recent races

“I hope because there is a budget cap that at some stage Red Bull will stop developing, otherwise I would not understand how they can do that – but let’s see in the next races. It could be at least our turn to try to develop as much as we can the car by introducing upgrades, and I think it’s not a surprise that we may have a package in Barcelona, which will be important for us.

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“As usual, I hope the package we are introducing is working as expected and in that case, it can be a good boost in order to try and catch up the current gap we’ve got to the Red Bull.”

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FIA Team Principals press conference – Monaco