Ferrari moved 39.5 points clear of McLaren in the race for third in the championship following the Qatar Grand Prix.

McLaren was on course for a good haul of points at the Losail International Circuit until Lando Norris’ late puncture dropped him down the field, eventually finishing ninth.

Despite Ferrari’s strong run of form, Binotto is still wary of McLaren given that the final two races are likely to suit it.

“Obviously, the championship is not over yet, there are two races to go, we are focused on trying to do the best, but no doubt if I look at where we were last year – sixth, very little points in the championship, we made the most of what we could do with the current regulation where most of the car was frozen and very limited opportunity of development, and budget cap of 2021 where we had to put 2022 development instead of the 2021,” Binotto said after the race in Qatar. 

“Overall in think the team has made great progress of what was possible, for that I’m happy as yes the third position is a great output of the effort.”

With Ferrari seeking a return to the front in 2022, Binotto says the goal of this year was to continually improve as a team, rather than just secure third in the constructors’ championship.

“We introduced a couple of developments at the start of the season and that’s it, except the power unit later on, but the power unit again that was a development with a view for 2022,” he added. 

“All our efforts since the start of the season has been the 2022 car and we never compromised it. It never came into our mind to at some stage try and penalise the 2022 for the benefit of the 2021. 

“We knew we could fight for third place at the start of the season, we knew it could be very tight, but our main objective in 2021 was not the third place but to improve in all the details as a team and the third place will simply be the output of it, and if today we are reaching the third place it is the team, the way they are working at various weekends has certainly improved a lot since the very start of the season and not because the car itself has developed through the season.”