Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto has confirmed he will not attend all 23 races this year and will instead focus on the "big challenge" of 2022.
The 2021 Formula 1 season has not yet begun but with a completely new set of aerodynamic regulations coming into force next year, teams are already facing questions on when development will switch the future machinery.
Adding to the pressure is the newly implemented budget cap, a factor that devalues expenditure on developing a car that has an extremely limited shelf life.
As Ferrari sought to address problems in its woeful power unit last year, Binotto elected to work from Maranello rather than attend every race. This is a situation he will repeat this year to put Ferrari in the strongest position possible for 2022.
“Last year I missed some races because at the end there is an entire company to manage and it is not only the race weekend or the race track," he explained.
"There is a lot of things going on back at Maranello, a lot of people to manage and coordinate.
“This year will hopefully be a 23-race championship. It will be very long, it will be very dense in the second half and I think again there is quite a big challenge for 2022 as well to face.
“My intention will be again not to be a part of all the races in the 2021 season. I certainly will be a part of the start of the season itself as that will be important to assess our performance at the start and make sure that everything is working well on the race track.
“But at some stage, I will start missing some races and will be back at Maranello concentrating on 2022."
Ferrari sporting director Laurent Mekies will once again assume command in Binotto's absence.
After confirming he expects Ferrari to be in a stronger position this year than in 2020 - the team finishing sixth in the constructors' standings, its worst return in 40 years - Binotto conceded it will be impossible for the Scuderia to claw back the significant gap to champions Mercedes in such a short period of time.
Reflecting further on this, Binotto said he views the 2022 changes as the main area of focus for the team.
He added: "Our focus in '21 will be developing the '22 car. That will be the main target so we will not spend much on the '21 during the season.
"With a balance, it's a choice we will need to make at some stage.
"But '22 is such a big change, there is a minimum quantity of exercise, design and projects that need to be developed.
"So most of the effort will be there, so again, to see how the car is handling at the very start of the season is very important because it's performance we may see for the rest of the season."
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