Although he looked good at the start of the year, Ferrari had a pretty lamentable Formula 1 season this year, for countless reasons – strategy being one of them. Fortunately, team principal Mattia Binotto seems to have recognized this fact to media… but he is convinced that a fast and reliable car can solve Ferrari’s strategy problems.
The report comes from Diario AS, a Spanish sports newspaper. In translation, his quote reads:
“Our ups and downs come from different areas. Reliability first, the first priority, because to win you have to be reliable, and that has not been the case this season. Then the speed of the car. We were very competitive in qualifying but our race pace was not enough to win. If you have a fast and reliable car, you can make mistakes in strategy and pit-stops, but then you compensate with the car. This is where we need to put our efforts knowing the ups and downs strategies can cause.
Unfortunately, Ferrari has already somehow refuted Binotto’s sentiment. There were reliability issues with speed Ferrari 2022 machine, yes. Solving these problems would have helped the team and its drivers to fight for a championship, yes. But there was innumerable errors in strategy that completely destroyed an otherwise good race.
Ferrari’s inability to manage tire degradation throughout the season was both a mechanical problem and a strategic concern. A problem like tire deg has to be approached from many angles, but the strategic angle is one: you just have to be aware of how your car may differ from, say, the general Pirelli simulations. Then you have to build a race around tire deterioration and, you know, pull off a pit stop without fumbling, as Ferrari has done on several occasions this year.
In fact, if Ferrari had managed their strategy better with the car they had in 2022, we could have had a spicier championship battle. It was by no means a perfect machine, but its reliability issues paled in comparison to things like pilot or strategy error. How many more points would Ferrari have gained in 2022 if it hadn’t, for example, failed to prepare for a pit stop or had a better understanding of what tire compounds to change and when. Making the car faster and more reliable for 2023 won’t do everything magically those problems go away.