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Ferrari proved potential after scathing criticism - Binotto

Ferrari proved potential after scathing criticism - Binotto

F1 News

Ferrari proved potential after scathing criticism - Binotto

Ferrari proved potential after scathing criticism - Binotto

Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto believes the Scuderia proved it could do a "proper job" at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix after a season of criticism.

Charles Leclerc finished second behind Max Verstappen to secure runner-up in the drivers' championship over Sergio Perez.

The Red Bull driver was ahead on the circuit but a clever strategy, including a dummy pit-stop call from Ferrari, ensured Leclerc took track position and was able to hold off Perez's advances in the closing stages.

The result, with Carlos Sainz fourth, confirmed second in the constructors' standings for the Italian team after two prior years of struggles.

Operational issues that plagued the team throughout the season led to heavy criticism of Ferrari management, with the team forced to shut down reports of Binotto's imminent sacking.

But reacting to the positive end to the season, which Leclerc labelled "perfect", Binotto said: "It is great for the team, great for the strategists, great to have done a solid weekend.

"P2 is the balance of the entire season, not only [the race].

"We certainly did a proper job. The dummy pit stop on the Red Bull was the right call.

"Happy for the team. When Ferrari is making mistakes, there is always a lot of criticism but we know as well these guys can do very well."

Binotto explains Ferrari tyre focus

Perez was flying at the end of the race as he tried to make a two-stop work against the one-stop selected by Ferrari for Leclerc, but as the race wore on the ability for the tyre life to be stretched became more apparent.

But crucial practice work led Ferrari down the correct set-up path, ultimately proving fruitful.

"I think it was a difficult weekend for tyre degradation and tyre management, not only for us but it was the case for other drivers and the case for Mercedes and Checo," added Binotto.

"Pushing too hard on the first laps, the risk was to destroy the tyres so in order to manage it well through the entire stint, you had to be very careful at the start but you needed a good balance of the car.

"If I look at ourselves, what we did is we started to put some more efforts on the high-fuel runs [on Friday] to make sure we had the right balance for [the race].

"The balance of the car and the drivers' capability has made the difference in terms of stint pace and the race distance speed."

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