Binotto 'convinced' Ferrari won't repeat 21-year wait for F1 championship

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Mattia Binotto is "convinced" Ferrari won't repeat a previous 21-year wait for a Formula 1 Drivers' Championship.

The Scuderia is currently in the midst of a 13-year drought without claiming that title, dating back to Kimi Raikkonen in 2007.

And right now, Ferrari appears further away than ever from ending that run, as a drop in performance sees them sixth in this year's Constructors' standings, which would mark their worst finish since 1973 if they finished there.

Even so, looking forward, Binotto remains upbeat.

“I wish to congratulate Mercedes for winning the Constructors’ Championship,” he told Sky Italia after the German manufacturer secured that title for a seventh straight year at Imola.

“We know we have a very long way to go to be fighting once again for those same goals, something we have achieved so often in our history, but we firmly believe we can do it.”

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It was then, however, the Ferrari boss was reminded of the baron spell between Jody Scheckter in 1979 and Michael Schumacher in 2000, when the Scuderia failed to win a Drivers' title.

“It will not be 21 years, I am convinced,” Binotto added. “I experienced that phase of reconstruction first hand, with the victory in the Constructors’ Championship first [in 1999] and then in the Drivers’ [in 2000].

“Now many years have passed, far too many. We have fought for wins and we fought for the title a couple of times.

“There are many winless seasons, from 1990 to 1994 for example. This is a difficult and particular season, both for the difficulties we have and for the particular context of Covid.

"We have not been able to develop and modify, 2022 is upon us soon and we have to put a lot of energy into it. It’s a season that will be an exception.”

In recent races, Ferrari has shown some signs of progress, notably with Charles Leclerc finishing in the points at each Grand Prix since Mugello.

“The most positive thing in the last three to four weekends [is that] we’ve brought small steps all the time but always in the right direction,” said the Monegasque.

“Whenever we’ve had an issue we’ve analysed it and seemed to get it better the race after, so to see this progress and the way that once we analyse something we manage to get better at it is a good sign for the future.

"We obviously need to continue that way, there is still a long road ahead."

Next year, Ferrari can finally upgrade their currently underperforming engine, with Binotto claiming the data coming from the dyno at Maranello is "promising".

And Leclerc does think the Scuderia can close the gap on Mercedes and Red Bull.

“We are still quite limited by the things we can do for next year, but if we use them all in a good way then hopefully the upgrades we have brought for next year will be enough to be fighting," he concluded.