Ferrari prepared to ’copy’ other teams in 2022
"It will be necessary to observe and even copy good solutions"
Mattia Binotto is not ruling out Ferrari deciding to "copy" certain technical innovations once the full field of all-new cars for 2022 gets up and racing.
His Mercedes counterpart Toto Wolff has identified the Maranello team as a key potential rival for the new season, given how long Ferrari was able to focus on the brand new and radically different rules.
"They had more time in the wind tunnel, which is the advantage of finishing sixth (in 2020) instead of first. I think it’s an advantage of several tenths," the Austrian said.
"Actually anyone can be up there, as we saw in 2009 with the double diffuser. As a fan, I love Ferrari and it’s important that their car is competitive.
"I hope several teams will be able to win this year," Wolff added.
Some insiders are particularly impressed with the radical nature of Ferrari’s 2022 car, even though others had predicted a more homogenous grid for the new season.
"I think when you look at the new regulations, there may be concepts that are different between the teams," Ferrari team boss Binotto said.
Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz admitted he is "a bit surprised" that the 2022 cars seen so far are visibly different even with the "strict" new regulations.
"The cars are really different in the areas where there is more freedom," said the Spaniard.
Binotto says Ferrari will keep a close eye on these differences.
"It will be necessary to observe and even copy good solutions and introduce them as quickly as possible," he said.
"We will see a lot of development at the start and a lot of relative performance from team to team that could change, so the fastest car at the start will not necessarily be the fastest after five or six races."
When told that Wolff had named Ferrari as a 2022 favourite, however, the Italian insisted to Canal Plus: "I don’t think we’re the favourites.
"On the contrary, I don’t think it’s us that are world champions right now. There are others who won the championship last year, whether they were drivers or manufacturers, and they were a lot stronger than us.
"They finished the season with a good advantage," he said, referring to Mercedes and Red Bull.
"Why are they saying this about us? I think first of all it’s to take the pressure off themselves, but I’m sorry - it’s up to them to keep the pressure on.
"On our side, it’s true that we have made a beautiful car, but I don’t think a beautiful car means that it must be a fast car," Binotto added.