Last year Binotto sat out Turkish and Bahrain Grands Prix to work from Ferrari‘s base as a test run for this season, when teams are forced combine a packed calendar with an intensive development programme for 2022’s all-new cars.
Binotto also missed the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix due to illness, handing over the reins on the ground to Ferrari‘s sporting director Laurent Mekies.
Following on from 2020’s experiment, Binotto had singled out Turkey as one of the 2021 race weekends to stay at home for, so he could help oversee Ferrari’s 2022 car project.
On Sunday he said he also intends to sit out the long flyaways to Mexico and Brazil.
“This is one of the races I was targeting to be back home,” he said.
“Obviously, the calendar has changed a couple of times since the very start, so I changed a bit my plans, but certainly Turkey was one of these ones.
“I will skip at least another two races before the end of the season. At the moment I’m planning Mexico and Brazil.
“The reason is as you may imagine, especially Mexico and Brazil, overseas, it’s a long trip, while here back at Maranello there is clearly much to do, it’s an entire team to somehow manage, both the chassis and the power unit, and the entire organisation.”
Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF21, arrives on the grid
Photo by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images
Binotto says his presence at home is helpful as Ferrari’s 2022 project enters a “critical phase” in the final stages of its design process, and he has praised Mekies for his efforts leading Ferrari at the race track.
“We are in terms of 2022 development certainly in a critical phase, where time is getting closer and closer,” he explained.
“I’m happy to be here. On Thursday and Friday, being in the office, I can certainly be more focused on whatever is happening back here in Maranello.
“On Saturday and Sunday, I’m fully dedicated to the race weekend.
“I’m missing the networks in the paddock, but Laurent Mekies can do a great job. I’m very happy with how he is managing the entire team when I am not there, so I am very happy with that.”