Mattia Binotto, Ferrari, Bahrain International Circuit, 2019

“Maybe next time we will stop”: Ferrari reconsiders pitting for fastest lap bonus

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In the round-up: Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto indicates the team would be more willing to pit a driver to put on fresh tyres and attempt to set the fastest lap having chosen not to do so with Charles Leclerc in Australia.

What they say

Binotto was asked whether the team will take the opportunity to make a ‘free’ pit stop for fresh tyres to score the bonus point for fastest lap in future races.

Obviously that’s an important point, at the end of the season the points will be the difference. We didn’t stop for new tyres with Charles, we could have done it in Australia. Why we didn’t, I think that because at the very first race it was not our intention to take too many risks.

Should we have done it? Maybe yes. Honestly I think lesson learned, it would have been safe enough to stop him and try to go for it. But again we will learn from that and maybe next time we will stop.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

Are ‘B-teams’ beginning to undermine F1’s more ‘traditional’ constructors?

The fact that B-teams are becoming the strongest contenders outside the top teams is becoming a problem.

I find the whole current setup of Formula 1 twisted. F1 should aim to be economically and technically more accessible, not to encourage the teams towards still greater and greater technical convergence.
@PironitheProvocateur

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On this day in F1

  • 45 years ago today Carlos Reutemann won the South African Grand Prix at Kyalami for Brabham, while Hesketh made their first F1 start.

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  • 13 comments on ““Maybe next time we will stop”: Ferrari reconsiders pitting for fastest lap bonus”

    1. F1 had focused for a long time on constructors, but I wonder what the legacy from this focus would be, specially considering the regulations on power unit – a thing most teams do not build.
      Today, three teams are recognizable as long standing – Ferrari, Williams, Mclaren.
      Being a constructor teams seems very appropriate to Ferrari, after all it has been build racing cars for more than 50 years. But what Williams is supposed to construct? It does not have access to a state of art power unit, seems to lack aero inventiveness and lacks financial clout. Mclaren is maybe successful building supercars and as a systems purveyor, but also misses access to top of line PU.
      RedBull depends on Newey’s genius and Marko/Horner’s managerial aptitude. After their PU lost preeminence, so their results – or at least their title contending capacity.
      So, the constructor concept, under current regulations, seems to depend on massive financial and industrial resources because it focus on the power unit. Today, only Ferrari and Mercedes could benefit and fully explore this concept. Other car manufacturers came and went. Even Renault would have to face a tough decision if 2021 do not bring more balance to the competition.
      As major variables on cars perfomance are considered, tyres are uniform, aero is heavily (and convoluted) regulated – and apparently only Newey can extract something out of it, and, finally, PU development is restricted by money and rules.
      Then, very little is really available as an expression of car construction. And it seems to make little sense to expect teams, specially taken the lack of independent sponsor money, to significantly act as a car constructor. Isn’t it an outdated concept, just as a vertically integrated automobile industry would be today? And what would the point be? Even car manufacturer have problems in designing and implementing new technologies. Why expect teams to spent millions of dollars they dont have to develop a genuinely innovative technology that cannot be exploited elsewhere?
      Maybe the concept of a constructor team made sense when the regulations where essentialy: the car might have four tyres, carry that much gasoline, be this wide, this long and this high. Also, it made sense when there were tyres and engines options relatively easily accessible to different teams.
      Under current regulation, the development is so marginal that only huge amounts of money and effort would result in any considerable effect on the track. Expecting teams to build cars every three months from the ground up may even not be align to the concept of sustainaiblity so much in vogue.

    2. It’s honestly hard to really care about F1 this week after the Guardian’s articles. There’s obviously been a “do not talk about it” order for everyone. While it’s nice to see Binotto actually admitting perhaps Ferrari were wrong and there’s lessons to be learned, if F1 isn’t willing to do that as a whole then what’s the point?

      Seeing stuff like “under the lights in Bahrain” from the Mercedes article makes it all sound very romantic doesn’t it?

      Anyway, enjoy your racing distracting from the serious issues. The teams can’t turn their back on F1, but I certainly can…

      1. PS. Just to be clear, if there is a valid argument to go racing in Bahrain, I wish they’d just make it. Stand by their convictions if they are doing the right thing. Have some integrity and talk about the issues. Ignoring them is just sending the message that the Bahrain government has even the power to silence the biggest of the best, how could a regular citizen ever have a chance?

        1. if there is a valid argument to go racing in Bahrain, I wish they’d just make it

          @skipgamer – sadly, the answer is money. It always is. No way Liberty is going to risk antagonizing the Middle East by going all moralistic on them. At least not until their losses outweigh the gains. And most can’t exactly target “voting with our wallets” at a specific weekend, I don’t think the Bahrain GP is as dependent on gate tickets as many others.

          1. Imagine the kudos and respect Liberty would gain though if they did decide not to go to Bahrain again. This would potentially generate a lot of interest and publicity for F1.

            There would be plenty of countries willing to take its place on the calendar so I don’t think there would that much to lose certainly in the medium term.

        2. I have been making that argument, and I wish F1 would as well: sporting boycotts are counterproductive. The boycott o apartheid South Africa may have extended apartheid by years, let alone not helped.

        3. @skipgamer The argument is that Bahrain meets all the same minimum criteria as everyone else, and that it would be a breach of the FIA’s regulations to not attend (or indeed for Bahrain to be refused a place). The Guardian’s articles have all been on matters deemed “political” under Article 1 of the FIA Statutes, and that article prevents the FIA or anyone working in a FIA series from taking an open stance on such matters. So not only can the race not be canned on such grounds, but team principals technically are forbidden from expressing a formal opinion on the matter. They can refer people to Article 1 – it’s not a gag order – but as the journalists are generally appraised of that Article (along with the other rules that apply to being a professional member of the F1 paddock) before receiving their pit passes, it’s usually just treated as an unspoken assumption (occasionally, Autosport has taken the trouble to explain – notably in the build-up to the 2011 and 2012 Bahrain Grands Prix).

          While some latitude has been given in the past, anything that would affect the running of a race would definitely be considered out. Even Force India’s refusal to stay for the whole of 2012’s FP2 due to safety concerns (arising from politics) resulted in it losing its TV time for the weekend. For anyone involved not to play their part in the race, or stir up off-track controversy about it, without safety (or legal requirements) getting involved, would lead to severe consequences.

          If it makes anyone feel any better, the Bahrain government isn’t silencing anyone in the paddock… …it’s the FIA. Credit where it’s due: the reasons for that Article are two-fold: most people in F1 don’t have the necessary expertise in every political matter in which they might convey their opinion to know the exact line between “paddock-orthodox”, “controversial” and “major blooper” – and French law requires organisations of the FIA’s type to not hold a corporate political opinion unless the law requires them to hold that opinion (so being pro-equality is OK, but anything resembing corporate national favouritism is not… …except, perhaps, if France has openly declared war against that nation) Both are arguably good grounds to have the Article in place.

    3. BlackJackFan
      30th March 2019, 4:06

      “There’s obviously been a “do not talk about it” order for everyone.”
      Certainly looks like it… If Bahrain has managed to muzzle Liberty and FIA, and thus all the F1 ‘accredited’ journalists, then something really smells in the state of Denmark… And it isn’t Denmark…!

      North Korea (etc…), anyone…

      This will be my last comment until this weekend’s skullduggery is over.

      1. no reason to overthink issues. even the US endorses dictators and semi-dictators who are ruthless when it comes to human rights abuses in their own backyards. lets stop trying to politicize the sport. issues will always be there.
        when we have balls to confront the US and UN first to act then you can start barking on the F1 tree. Their stance is quietness and that is it. What have each of us here done about the issue other than just comment on the internet.

    4. If neither driver has a fresh set of the softest tyre compound left then pitting late mightn’t really be a viable option as was the case with both drivers as well as the Merc-drivers and Max in Australia. All of them only had an unused set of the hardest compound left at that point of the race.

      1. Also on this day in F1: The 2014 Malaysian GP round 2 of 2014 won by Lewis Hamilton with Nico Rosberg 2nd and Sebastian Vettel driving for RBR at the time 3rd took place.

    5. The problem with B teams is that while they are competitive they will never be allowed to fight for big stuff. It created a two tier formula that will remain as it is forever if the independent constructors don’t start beating them. If the finantial imbalance is this great, it won’t be easy to do. But if the likes of McLaren, Williams and Renault start filling the gap between “A teams” and “B teams” maybe in the end the B team approach won’t be as interesting… but right now, they do little and produce a lot this way.

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