With Ferrari massively struggling this season and languishing in mid-table in the Constructors’ Championship, when can we realistically expect a challenge to the Mercedes might?
Team Principal has been honest about this, and well, ruled out a Championship for the next season. He however is confident they can consistently fight for the podium, something found lacking this season. That in itself would prove to be a success story, considering they are sometimes struggling to beat the likes AlphaTauri and Alfa Romeo this season.
“Realistically no, for the World Championship, I honestly think not. He must return to fight regularly for the podium, this must be our goal. I am sure this team is alive, I am sure we will take a step forward.
Ferrari is hopeful of launching a successful challenge from the 2022 season onwards when new regulations come into play. The last decade was all about Red Bull and Mercedes, with 3 and 7 championships respectively, but the ‘Prancing Horses’ want the lion’s share in this decade.
“It is the right time for a strong change. We all have the opportunity to start with a new 2022 regulation and not only that, we will all be able to work on 2022 aerodynamics only from next January,”
Will Ferrari’s new power unit get them to the podium in 2021?
Ferrari means business when talking about their chances of a second-place finish in 2o21, presumably behind Mercedes, and has planned a brand new power unit in that regard. They will also have a brand new driver in Carlos Sainz, drafted in from McLaren; his performances promising this season. Binotto admits it won’t be possible to beat Mercedes, but beating Red Bull is a realistic consideration.
“Yes, there are limitations in developing a car that is behind. We believe we can improve, but I think trying to beat Mercedes would be wrong because the gap is enormous. We do not have currently the best engine and I think that next year, we may have a completely new power unit, as per the regulations.”
“However, we believe it must be possible for Ferrari to take second place in 2021.”
— Formula 1 (@F1) May 14, 2020
Binotto also gave an honest answer when asked by Sky Italia about the causes of such a disastrous 2020 campaign. Few things were under their control, Covid wasn’t. But then the latter affected every team on the paddock, not just them.
“I don’t think banging fists is the right choice. We got the project wrong, looking for the wrong development path. Covid froze us and penalized us.”
Is Red Bull ready to yield second place to Ferrari?
The answer is a big NO. We could go on and on and dissect Ferrari’s chances of returning to ultimate prominence, but the fact remains, Red Bull has a better chance of winning the title if Mercedes were to leave the sport, hypothetically speaking. Max Verstappen has shown time and again this season, that with a few significant improvements, the Red Bull can challenge, and beat Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas in races, and who knows, even the Championship.
Add to that 2021 being Honda’s final season with Red Bull and their pledge to leave on a high, Ferrari need to be wary of the energy drinks team more than the German automobile major. The Honda CEO Takahiro Hachigo has already confirmed they are in the process of bringing in a new power unit for 2021.
“We still have races to go this season. Next year, we have another season, and then we’ll do our very best to try to win. For next year we will launch our new power unit so that we can do well together with Red Bull. And we are going to aim for the season championship.”
With Mercedes, Red Bull, Ferrari, and Fernando Alonso talking up their chances of winning, be it next season, or the decade in general, it is going to be a fascinating next few years of Formula 1 racing. The last decade was fascinating too, alright, but it lacked a competitive edge. And for Ferrari, the most successful team in the sport, it is now or never, when it comes to rising back to prominence to the pinnacle of this magnificent sport.