Binotto admits he almost quit Ferrari
"I was no longer in a position to do my job well"
Mattia Binotto says it is Mercedes who should be regarded as the favourites heading into the 2019 season.
That is despite the fact that it was Ferrari, the team now led by Binotto, that looked clearly fastest in pre-season testing.
"I think the team to beat is still Mercedes," the Italian told Corriere della Sera.
"They are an established group, they know how to build a fast car, and they have all the financial resources and skills.
"If they have any initial difficulties, they will overcome them," Binotto added.
However, he doesn’t deny that the 2019 Ferrari is good. He describes it as stable, predictable and consistent.
"It is something we have been seeking because it was one of the difficulties of the car last season," said Binotto.
But he says Ferrari in its current form, despite its history, is still a "young team". Binotto almost quit Ferrari at the end of last year, following disputes with his predecessor Maurizio Arrivabene.
"I thought I was no longer in a position to do my job well, and I made it known," he admits.
"Yes, it’s true — other teams looked at me because my experience has value in F1."
But Binotto says he has no hard feelings after the Arrivabene dispute.
"I always learn from everyone, even Maurizio and I thank him for that," he said.
"The personal relationship was always good. Never a fight. The difficulties involved the vision, the management of the group and the race weekend. We had different points of view."