Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto believes that Red Bull have proved it's possible to recover from a difficult season and bounce back strongly as the Italian manufacturer continue their progress up the grid from last year.
Binotto came under scrutiny last season as Ferrari suffered their worst season since 1980 when Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel were often fighting outside of the points-paying positions. The Ferrari team boss has reflected on Ferrari's past and Red Bull's current form as a clear example of building a team to become a championship contender.
"There are no silver bullets in Formula 1," Binotto told RacingNews365.com. "Look at ourselves at the start of the 1990s to 2000 with Michael Schumacher and Jean Todt, it took time to build the team.
"It took time for Red Bull and Mercedes too. If you look at Red Bull, it was a long time that they were not winning. But they have the passion with no revolutions inside of the team. They worked hard and worked well to build but it takes time."
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Binotto admits that last year was very difficult to deal with as the responsibility was definitely felt at times as Ferrari finished sixth in the Constructors' Championship.
"It was a very difficult season," added Binotto. "No doubt, there was a lot of pressure on my shoulders and I certainly felt the responsibility. In such a difficult time, the team was very united.
"That was the positive from that time. It would have been very easy internally for the team to blaming each other. This never happened. The team had the right spirit with the willy to move forward and demonstrate that we can do better.
"For me what was important at the time, was to make sure that the pressure that I had was not reflected into the team.
"We wanted to give everyone the chance to perform at their best, and try to organise the team and coordinate it in a way to progress. My focus was on that, not listening to external rumours."
In the build-up to the 2021 season, Ferrari's organisation changed with many senior engineers leaving the team. However, Binotto made it clear that Ferrari have not changed their structure or the way they race in F1 despite the departure of former CEO Louis Camilleri at the end of 2020.
"We didn't have to rebuild the team," said Binotto. "We started the journey with Louis Camilleri and we have invested a lot in our future in the medium and long term.
"We have laid a foundation, the new Concorde Agreement is an example of that, so a lot of work has been done to lay a foundation for the future of Formula 1 Ferrari team John Elkann (Ferrari chairman and interim CEO) was already involved with the Formula 1 team as chairman at the time, so at the moment it is just a matter of continuity, we are not rebuilding Scuderia Ferrari ."
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Despite Ferrari's woes, Binotto had the support of Camilleri and now John Elkann which has been important for the stability of the team. Ferrari have made big strides from last year with Leclerc taking pole position last time out at Monaco and Carlos Sainz finishing second in the race behind Max Verstappen.
"I never doubted the support of Elkann and Camelieri, because I know they have supported me from the start," continued Binotto. "Of course I know that I have to things right, of course I am ultimately responsible for the Formula 1 team.
"I know how difficult this job is, you need a lot of passion for it, but also time to build. We have invested a lot in our future for the medium and long term, in my opinion we have made the right choices."
Binotto feels that Ferrari's time will come as to when they can be fighting for regular race wins and to battle for the title. The Italian squad are the most improved team from 2020 and Binotto thinks that ironing out mistakes such as strategy blunders or any unforced errors is just as important as extracting pace from the car.
"As I said before, it's a matter of time and passion," said Binotto. "Our approach is that we try to learn from our mistakes. We have to make sure we don't point when we make mistakes, but that we understand how the mistake could have occurred and how it could be prevented in the future.
"Stability within the team is also important. The same person has been responsible for the strategy for many years now and the same goes for the pit crew.
"Stability, while at the same time building a team that can improve itself every time, after every mistake. We are working really hard on that at the moment."
Ferrari are set to battle McLaren for third place in the Constructors' Championship and Binotto has been impressed by the team's operational standards to try and maximise results at each event.
"If you look at the start of our season, we've had solid race weekends, every time," added Binotto. "There were difficult conditions, such as the weather in Imola, but I think we always made the right strategic choices.
"Also the engineers and the pit crew has been very consistent so far this year. That's very important, and I'll say it again, when it comes to making mistakes, it's just about how you deal with them."