Former F1 driver Martin Brundle turned F1 media pundit, believes “things were not right” at Ferrari last season, and that the Maranello Outfit got it right with the sacking of Maurizio Arrivabene as team principal.
Lead driver Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari fought for the Y 2018 world championship but were defeated by Lewis Hamilton and MercedesAMG after a number of high-profile errors.
Speaking at the 2019 Autosport International Show, Mr. Brundle said he did not like to get “personal” with his assessment because “you do not know what you do not know if you are not inside an organisation”.
“But I did observe it, and see that things were not right,” Mr. Brundle said.
“You look at situations like Hockenheim, where Vettel was put under pressure because they didn’t do the right things earlier on in the race.
“Then he fell off the road, and he fell out of the championship from that moment onwards.
“You look at other things like the slipstreaming in Monza [when Vettel did not get a tow off Kimi Raikkonen because Ferrari stuck to a previously-agreed order on-track].
“Certain things were not being done.”
Mr. Arrivabene has been criticised for how he handled the media in 2-H of Y 2018, particularly after the death of Ferrari President and CEO Sergio Marchionne, who preferred to be the team’s spokesperson.
Mr. Brundle said the highly-rated Binotto, who will work under John Elkann (President) and Louis Camilleri (CEO), would need to adapt to such challenges in his new role.
“I do think Mattia Binotto has got a very good reputation in developing the team technically, he’s clearly a leader of people,” said Mr. Brundle.
“But of course now he is the lightning conductor. He has got to be up front, he has got to speak to nasty, horrible people like me in the F1 media.
“He has got to be there and explain why things went well, why things didn’t go so well. It’s a different job and a different challenge.”
Highly-rated rising star Charles Leclerc has joined Ferrari in place of Kimi Raikkonen, after a season in F1 with Sauber.
He has been tipped to win races in his 1st year at The Scuderia, and put 4X world champion Vettel under pressure.
If Mr. Leclerc can join Mr. Vettel in fighting MercedesAMG and Lewis Hamilton from the beginning, Mr. Brundle believes Mr. Binotto will make life simpler and racing better at Ferrari.
“I do know from people like Ross Brawn and others who have worked with him, he is most highly regarded,” said Mr. Brundle.
“I think he will get the car and the engine to where it needs to be and the rest of it should be easy, if Messrs Vettel and Leclerc are doing their jobs.”
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