While Ferrari took a step forward in 2022 and finished second in both championships, its best result since 2018, the year was not without disappointments.
And above all, Ferrari found itself in the line of fire after seeing a number of possible victories marred by poor reliability, strategic errors or driving errors.
Reflecting on the events of the 2022 campaign, Binotto said it had been an eye opener, especially dealing with outside pressures.
“It’s definitely been difficult because criticism is never easy to deal with,” he said.
“And more than that, I think for me, sort of [I needed to] try to keep the team focused and focused on the job.
“Critics are there to distract a team, and keeping a team focused is never easy. It’s been tough, but I think it will only make me stronger going forward.
“I know that we only have to rely on ourselves. This is the most important lesson of the season.
Binotto has been at the center of speculation over his own future, with reports both ahead of the F1 final in Abu Dhabi and in the week after it was suggested he could be laid off over the winter.
Stories before Abu Dhabi suggested that Alfa Romeo team principal Fred Vasseur was lined up to replace him, but this report has been strongly denied by Ferrari.
While the 2022 campaign has struggled, the team have made good progress in recent years and those at the heart of it were adamant that their spirit remains strong.
Charles Leclerc, Ferrari F1-75
Photo by: Erik Junius
Charles Leclerc, who finished second in the Drivers’ Championship this year, made it clear in Abu Dhabi that the team remains focused on the final stage to be on top.
“Obviously when we come to the end of the season there are always voices around us,” Leclerc said. “But I think as a team we really have to focus on our job and on the track try to extract everything that’s going on around the team.
“People tend to forget how big a step we made from last year to this year. There’s definitely another step we need to take, but I’m sure we’ll all do it together.
Binotto himself fully accepts that Ferrari needs to do a better job in 2023, and believes the key to achieving his goals is to produce a more reliable and faster car.
Asked about the main improvement Ferrari needed to make from the 2022 campaign, Binotto said: “I don’t think there is just one, because in the end our ups and downs came from different areas.
“In the first place, reliability, I would prioritize that, because to win you have to be reliable. That hasn’t been the case in the season.
“The second is the speed of the car, because while we were very competitive in qualifying, that wasn’t always the case in the race itself. And our race pace, whether it was tire degradation or pure race pace, was not enough to fight for a better position.
“I think it’s both because, if you have a fast and reliable car, then yes, you can make mistakes on strategies, on pit stops, which you can always compensate by the fact that the car itself is fast and reliable.” .
“So that’s where we have to put our efforts, knowing that yes, the ups and downs are also strategies, and maybe different calls that we were able to make on the race weekend. But we will also definitely review and improve.