After Ferrari’s series of strategy mishaps in 2022 that ruined its chances at a title, Mario Andretti was asked his opinion on Mattia Binotto’s resignation and what Ferrari needs to do for 2023.
In an interview with Gazzetta dello Sport, Andretti asked: “Was it really necessary to change the man at the top?
“You would need to know more about it to be able to make an informed judgement but what is clear to me is that there needs to be a change in strategy.
“When you have such a fast car, you don’t have to frantically do something different.
“There were scenes in which the opponents rolled out on soft tires, but Ferrari drove on medium-hard. The other top teams never do that.
“You don’t always have to prove you’re particularly smart.”
In fact instead of smart, the 82-year-old says Ferrari’s strategies came across as the exact opposite.
“We saw certain stupidities there,” he continued. “I don’t know who was responsible for that but the system needs to be changed.
“Drivers need to be more involved, only they feel how the tyre behaves. Just when I think about how Charles Leclerc was sent onto the track in Brazil with intermediates – mamma mia!”
That Friday, Ferrari sent Leclerc out on a set of intermediates even though the track was dry as their forecast was for imminent rain. It didn’t arrive until later in the session, the driver crying “beautiful, f***king beautiful” as he qualified P9.
“For me it is clear,” he said. “Ferrari has everything to be competitive. Except every now and then they experience human error.
“And I believe this failure is based on over-reliance on data and technology. Computers and high-tech are all well and good, but from time to time, you also need experience.
“I expect us to see a strong Ferrari in 2023 and that’s good for the whole of Formula 1. If I had a choice and could pick a car for the coming season – from Red Bull Racing, Ferrari or Mercedes – I would choose Ferrari every time (of course he would say that to the Italian readers of Gazzetta dello Sport).
“It’s a risk, but a nice one. Ferrari remains Ferrari, everyone wants to work there. And when you can compete as a Ferrari driver, your career takes on a whole different meaning.”