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“Critical” work on 2022 Ferrari will keep Binotto away from more races | 2021 F1 season

“Critical” work on 2022 Ferrari will keep Binotto away from more races | 2021 F1 season

Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto will miss two further rounds of this year’s championship to prioritise work on the team’s new car for the 2022 F1 season.

Binotto did not attend last weekend’s Turkish Grand Prix, leaving sporting director Laurent Mekies to run the team. This had been planned from an early stage in the season, said Binotto, who also missed the Istanbul event last year.

“This was one of the races I was targeting to be back home,” he explained via a videoconference from the team’s base in Maranello. “Obviously the calendar has changed quite a lot since the very start, so I changed also plans, but certainly Turkey was one of these ones.

“I will skip at least another two races before the end of the season. So at the moment, I’m planning Mexico and Brazil. But obviously let’s see.”

The Ferrari team principal has chosen to avoid several of the more distant races in order to remain at the factory during weekdays to oversee work on the successor to the SF21, which will be built to a largely new set of technical regulations.

“The reason is, as you may imagine, especially Mexico and Brazil overseas, it’s a long trip. While here back in Maranello there is a lot to do, really much to do.

“It’s an entire team to manage, both the chassis and power unit and the entire organisation,” said Binotto. “And we are, in term of 2022 development, certainly in a critical phase where time is getting closer and closer.

“So I’m happy to be here. From the way I’m managing the race weekends, certainly on Thursday and Friday being in the office I can certainly be more focussed on whatever is happening back here in Maranello, while Saturday and Sunday is fully dedicated to the race weekend.

“Certainly I’m missing the networks in the paddock but Laurent Mekies can do a great job, and I’m very happy the way he’s managing the entire team when I’m not there.”

Binotto also discovered an added upside to not commuting to Turkey. “I’ve been told that as well the flight to Istanbul was a lot bumpy,” he said, “so I’m very happy to skip it!”

What is F1’s official tyre supplier doing to ensure the sport’s switch to 18-inch wheels next year is a success? Find out in the new edition of the RacingLines column coming today on RaceFans

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October 13, 2021 at 08:24AM

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