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Ferrari points to Verstappen as favorite: 'We're driving behind him'

Ferrari points to Verstappen as favorite: 'We're driving behind him'

16-03-2022 06:29 Last update: 08:52


Mattia Binotto is optimistic ahead of the Bahrain Grand Prix. Ferrari seemed to be in good shape during the winter tests in Barcelona and Bahrain, but the team boss of the Italian outfit does not want to cheer too early.

After a title fight in 2017 and 2018, Ferrari fans have had to wait a long time for a competitive car. All of the team's arrows have been focused on 2022 for the past two years, so that will be an important measuring point for Binotto. The team boss has been protected by Ferrari's top brass in recent years, but will now have to perform.

Verstappen in the lead

Binotto knows and wants that too, because in conversation with Corriere.it the Italian reveals that he will not settle for second place this year. ''We are not signing up for second place now. We want to be the best in every race.'' With Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc, Binotto also has two hungry drivers who are ready to fight for the title.

Binotto sees Red Bull Racing as the biggest challenger and does not mention Mercedes. ''I think we will be competitive from the start. How the proportions are I don't know. Red Bull is very strong, especially Max (Verstappen). Maybe Max will be in front of us, we will drive behind him and only then will the other one (Sergio Perez ) come,'' Binotto predicts the ranking.

Engine backlog caught up

The Italian team has worked hard on a new car in recent years, but that is not the only thing with which the team wants to make the step to the top. In addition to the car, the engine has also been vastly improved. After scaling back the engine at the end of 2019, the team lacked a lot of power, but in 2022 that gap to Honda and Mercedes has been regained.

''Last year we were about 25hp behind the competition. We tried to calculate that now on the data (from the winter test). For now we are at the same level, maybe a bit better. We are very happy with what we have achieved'', concludes the proud team boss.

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