(Motorsport-Total.com) – Andreas Seidl is trying to deny the story published on Friday by ‘Motorsport-Total.com’, according to which weeks ago the boss of Ferrari, John Elkann, asked him if he could appear to take charge of the I work as team leader in Maranello: “I have a job to do at McLaren. I’ve been linked to it for several years,” he says when his colleagues from ‘ServusTV’ ask him if Elkann really called him and gave him an offer. worked.
Mattia Binotto in conversation with Ferrari president John Elkann
However, the trained observer does not read a clear denial of this, but only the answer of a smart diplomat who, on the one hand, does not want to lie, but on the other hand does not want to expose his competitor Ferrari. “I don’t want to get involved in this speculation,” Seidl dismisses. And he stresses that McLaren is currently his top priority.
‘ServusTV’ does not give up, however, it investigates Seidl’s evasive response about whether or not Elkann has called. But the McLaren team boss remains firm in his line: “Again: I do not want to participate in this speculation. I am happy with my work at McLaren, I still have a lot to do there. We are in a good moment.” trip. I use all that energy.”
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When the reporter tries for the third time, Seidl has to laugh and says, “I think you know me well enough that I never want to and I will never judge another team’s situation. That is the respective team’s job. As I said: I am responsible for the McLaren Formula 1 team and I will make sure we thrive for years to come.”
Ferrari: what happens behind the scenes
According to information from ‘Motorsport-Total.com’, the Ferrari president is dissatisfied with the numerous mistakes made in 2022. Therefore, Elkann contacted other team bosses to discuss the possibility of moving to Maranello with them. After Seidl’s refusal, he is said to have turned to Frederic Vasseur de Sauber.
Binotto was invited to the team manager’s press conference in Abu Dhabi on Saturday morning and was, of course, asked about the speculation. “I didn’t expect this question. I have to do a lot of thinking first,” he laughs.
“Ferrari”, says Binotto then, “is the most beloved team. Seb once said that everyone is a Ferrari fan at heart, and if they say that it is not so, they are internally. And if it is so. When there is passion, always there are critics and rumors. It has always been like this and now it is like this”.
Ferrari and the statement on Twitter
“When the speculation started,” he says, “I had a conversation with my president, John Elkann. We discussed openly how best to approach it and decided to issue a statement. That was the best way to put it.” the end of speculation that eventually has no foundation”.
But that Ferrari statement on Twitter, in which there is no talk of possible newcomers, but only strengthens Binotto’s position, did not ensure peace. Multi-media speculation is safe enough not to be distracted by Ferrari’s official line of communication.
Binotto does not go into detail about the alleged contacts between Elkann and Seidl and Vasseur. He simply says: “The most important thing is that we focus on this race weekend and the team doesn’t get distracted because the rumors are always there. It’s Ferrari. And it’s important that we don’t let that irritate us.”
Binotto, race director Laurent Mekies praises his boss, he is good at keeping the media hoopla away from the team, which has to take care of the operational implementation of the race in Abu Dhabi. Some, in turn, see this as a sign that Binotto enjoys even more domestic support than may be reported in some quarters.
Binotto: “It’s not up to me to decide”
Asked if he could categorically rule out that he would no longer be Ferrari team boss in 2023, the Swiss native replied: “It’s not up to me to decide. But I take it easy. The reason for this is that I think the bosses and presidents always had an open, honest and constructive basis for discussion, not only in the short term, but also in the medium and long term”.
And Binotto has a compelling argument on his side: yes, Ferrari may not have always shone in 2022 when it comes to so-called “race operations”. But it is also true that no other team has succeeded so well in improving performance from 2021 to 2022, when the new Formula 1 regulations were introduced.
“Yes, we’ve had some ups and downs and yes, we’re still not the best and we don’t have the fastest car,” he admits. “But we achieved our main goal of being competitive with the 2022 car. Nobody would have believed that Ferrari would be so fast at the start of the season. It shows that the team has weathered the difficult years of 2020 and 2021 well.”
The power unit upgrade was the cornerstone
You have to know: In autumn 2021, Ferrari introduced a power unit upgrade that laid the foundation for the 2022 package, and it was obviously a real “game changer” after years of sporting crisis. Ferrari scored 323.5 points in 22 races in 2021, with the same drivers. In 2022 you have 524 points after 21 races. An increase of 62 percent.
“This season”, summarizes Binotto, “has been exceptional in terms of the number of pole positions. The qualifying pace has been better than the race pace. We know that we have to continue working on the race pace. Because it’s easier with a faster pace. faster”. car To improve strategy and everything that has to do with it”.
In any case, he is sure: “We stick together. We have a team right now that not only works well together, but has also shown that it is competent. Yes, there are areas where we need to make progress. Weaknesses have been identified. it was pointed out to us. But I’m sure we’ll be able to address it, just as we have in the past.”