Binotto: Poor start "compromised everything" for Ferrari in Japan

13-10-2019 09:04
by Nicolás Quarles van Ufford
Binotto: Poor start compromised everything for Ferrari in Japan

Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto admitted his team's incredibly poor start at the start of the Japanese Grand Prix "compromised everything" for the Italian team, as the front-row lock-out only resulted in a P2 and P6 at the end.

Mercedes sealed their sixth consecutive constructors' championship at Suzuka mainly because of the start. Pole sitter Sebastian Vettel effectively had a jump-start and then got away really slowly once the lights did go out, with Valtteri Bottas sweeping around the outside to take the lead into turn one.

Then, the other Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc had a collision at turn two with Max Verstappen, with the Monegasque understeering his way into the side of the Dutchman's RB15. Verstappen eventually retired. Leclerc could continue but had to make a long pitstop, dropping him down the order. 

Meanwhile, Mercedes were first and second and almost finished that way if not for Vettel getting between the two Silver Arrows after Lewis Hamilton's second stop. 

"Today, the race pace and tire degradation, were not up to Mercedes' standards," Binotto told Sky Sports F1 Italia. 

"However, I believe that if we stayed ahead we could have defended ourselves. But when you start ahead, even with that little difference, then you have to stay there. 

"Today we must take the positive aspect which is locking out the front row in qualifying. Then, the start compromised everything else. Hamilton? From the first laps we had realized that he had two stops to make. 

"We expected Hamilton's second stop and we knew he would come out behind us with some soft tyres. We had to defend ourselves on the straights and we did that. Seb was good, he had a good race from that point of view, apart from the start. I think he drove well today."

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