Ferrari boss Binotto skips Bahrain too, will only visit races 'in difficult times'

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Confirming his absence this weekend in Bahrain, Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto says he will only be present at Formula 1 weekends "in difficult times".

The Swiss chief recently revealed his plan to spend more time at Maranello to focus on operations at the factory, this as the Italian team looks toward next year and 2022 to return to competitiveness after a disastrous 2020.

This shift has only been possible thanks to Ferrari's recent performance gains following a flurry of upgrades late in the summer, and Binotto is confident that trend will continue.

“I am happy that I do not need to be at the circuit. My role is to be present in difficult times,” he said in an interview with Sky Sports.

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“I knew the car was better and these results are welcome and I will not be at the next GP [in Bahrain]. Our drivers will do well. Our car has improved and they are more comfortable behind the wheel.

“Overall, we showed we have a competitive car. This is the most important thing, because it means that we understand which direction to go. The car has improved and that is a good sign.”

The first race Binotto skipped was the Turkish GP two weeks ago, where a third and fourth place gave Ferrari their best result of the season in wet, slippery conditions.

And Sebastian Vettel, who claimed his first podium in over a year at Istanbul, joked Binotto's absence may be a blessing.

“I think we scored probably the most points this year for us and Mattia wasn’t here! If the next race we don’t score as many points we try again to leave him at home!” he was quoted by

20060 turkish gp race

“No, I don’t think it’s related to that. I don’t believe in this kind of stuff. I’ve worked with Laurent [Mekies, sporting director] already 12 and 13 years ago and I think we have come a long way, I have come a long way and yeah, he does take care of us with Mattia not being here.

"I think he’s a capable guy and as I said, it’s not only down to him or down to Mattia. In the end, it’s a team effort.

“There are so many people, so many different links that have to come together to have a good weekend and obviously this weekend we benefit from the conditions, probably the surface and also the wet conditions but yeah, we hope to have good races also the next three.”