Ferrari chairperson John Elkann believes the iconic Italian team will return to Formula One’s summit within the next four years after becoming Red Bull’s closest challengers this season.
Ferrari, an F1 fixture, has struggled in recent seasons but is currently second in the drivers’ and constructors’ championships as they prepare to compete in the Italian Grand Prix this weekend.
Elkann stated in an interview published on Saturday in the Italian daily Gazzetta Dello Sport that he believes Charles Leclerc is in “pole position” to win a world title, which was last won by Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen in 2007.
The Monegasque is 109 points behind reigning champion Max Verstappen, but the Red Bull driver has never won at Monza and was hit with a five-place grid penalty ahead of qualifying on Saturday.
believe that between now and 2026, Ferrari will win both the constructors’ and drivers’ championships, “Elkann stated.
“We’ll do it before we reach 20 years of starvation… we’re lucky to have two great drivers at the wheel, probably the strongest pair in Formula One.”
Elkann, a scion of Italy’s powerful Agnelli family and CEO of their holding company Exor, believes in under-fire team principle Mattia Binotto, despite his dissatisfaction with results thus far.
“No, because I believe you can always do better. But, in my opinion, having faith in Binotto and his team was the right decision, and it has paid off “Elkann stated.
“Thanks to him, we’ve regained our competitiveness.”
Binotto has frequently been in the firing line for an error-strewn campaign from Ferrari which reached farcical levels at last weekend’s Dutch GP.
A series of blunders marred the race, including botched pit-stops, unsafe pit-lane releases, and erratic strategy calls.
After being left standing for 12 seconds while his crew searched for a left rear tyre, driver Carlos Sainz exclaimed, “Oh my God!”
“I think Ferrari has done an enormous development in terms of performance from last season to this season, and if you look back for Ferrari, you have to look back years to see such a development,” Binotto told reporters on Saturday.
“But there are still situations, such as reliability, which cost us at least a couple of victories and is required to win the championship.
“We are well aware that there are still some improvements that must be made in order to win the championship… We are all working very hard to make this happen as soon as possible.”
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