Ferrari's Mattia Binotto has explained his decision to elect himself to join Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz on the podium following the opening race of the new season. Leclerc led home a Ferrari 1-2 in Bahrain last month, helping Ferrari to achieve their first F1 win since 2019. It came following an epic race-long battle with Red Bull's Max Verstappen that saw the two drivers trade place on track three times. After the race, Leclerc and Sainz were joined by team boss Binotto on the podium, celebrating with sparkling water and a rendition of 'Il Canto degli Italiani'.
Binotto: I wanted to show 1-2 belonged to us all
But Binotto's decision to join his drivers on the podium was with the entire Italian team in mind, he has revealed. "I don't usually go [up to the podium], it's not my style," Binotto told German publication BILD , explaining his decision to do so. "I thought about it a lot and ended up forcing myself to do it because I felt it was the best way to represent the whole team there. "If we had chosen someone from the engine or aerodynamics department, for example, that would only have shown part of them. "I wanted to show this double victory (1-2) belongs to all of us!"
Binotto admits podium celebration was planned during pre-season
Ferrari spent much of pre-season playing down their pace, despite topping the timesheets regularly during testing in both Barcelona and Bahrain. But, while protesting that they would not be the team to beat on day one of the new season, Binotto was planning his podium decision long before the first race. "I thought about it a week before the race and decided after the race," he admitted. "Everyone at Ferrari has been waiting for the new season and we've put a lot of work and passion into it. "We knew we had a good car, but we didn't realise how good it was until after the race. It was a great relief for all of us."