While Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto reflects on the ups and downs felt in 2019, he has reminded the Italian manufacturer “finishing second will never be good enough” as he prepares for a busy winter to launch a 2020 Formula 1 title attack.

After a dramatic fallout from the Brazilian Grand Prix when Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc collided on track which sent both drivers out of the race, Ferrari still secured the runner-up spot in this year’s F1 world constructors’ championship ahead of Red Bull.

Despite enjoying a purple patch of form after the summer break, which included three wins, four additional podiums and six consecutive pole positions, Binotto accepts Ferrari has underdelivered this year losing out to Mercedes.

“Of course finishing second will never be good enough for Ferrari and we are looking ahead to a very intense winter to keep building as a group. The aim is to come back stronger to be up to the challenges that await us,” Binotto said.

“As the season draws to an end, I would like to say thank you to our tifosi all over the world for their passionate support all year long. This weekend, we will try to give them the best possible result with which to finish the season.

Abu Dhabi is the last race of what has been a long season for everyone. For us at Scuderia Ferrari, it was a year of new beginnings, with team members taking on new roles and Charles in his first year with us and our aim was to build the foundations for the future.”

Binotto has taken pride in Ferrari’s reaction to a slow start to the F1 season when it suffered with car issues along with mechanical heartache and driver mistakes. Ferrari secured just three podium finishes across the opening five rounds while Mercedes dominated to five consecutive 1-2 results.

“Of course there were highs and lows: the first part of the season did not go the way we wanted, but I certainly value the way we all stood together, rolled up our sleeves and fought back,” he said.

“Particularly noteworthy was the way we reacted after the summer break, with three race wins in a row and a run of six consecutive poles positions, as well as our win in Monza, just days after the incredible celebration of the 90 years of the Scuderia, in Milan, in front of a huge crowd.”

The 2019 finale in Abu Dhabi will also mark the first public appearance of both Vettel and Leclerc following their clash in Brazil with Ferrari playing down a rift inside the team.

While both drivers are battling for fourth place in the F1 world drivers’ championship, Leclerc can mathematically take third place off Red Bull’s Max Verstappen if he outscores the Dutch driver by 12 points at the Yas Marina Circuit.

But the Abu Dhabi circuit has been an unhappy hunting ground for Ferrari during its decade on the F1 calendar with the Italian team never tasting victory at the traditional season finale.

 

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