Ferrari flexible for F1 2020, double races - but want 'rational' cost-cap
Watch exclusive interview with Binotto as he discusses 2020, how Ferrari drivers are coping, F1's financial concerns and more
By Matt Morlidge
Last Updated: 08/04/20 9:19pm
Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto has told Sky Sports that F1's most famous team will be "flexible" so that the sport can fit in as many events as possible in 2020 - even if that includes double-race weekends.
Although the season has been ravaged by the coronavirus crisis and will not be starting until the end of June - at the earliest - after the Canadian GP's postponement, F1 still hope to reschedule the delayed races and debate has therefore stirred about how the usual Grand Prix structure could be changed to deal with a more intense calendar.
Shortened weekends and those with races on both the Saturday and Sunday have both been mooted as options, with F1, the FIA and the 10 teams in regular discussions about when, and how, the season could be restarted.
In an exclusive interview, Binotto, who previously admitted F1 could race into January, told Sky Sports News' Craig Slater that Ferrari are prepared for any sort of championship or race weekend.
"We know from the sporting regulations that to have a World Championship you need at least eight races, but everyone is trying to look for more than that," the Ferrari team principal said. "I think what will be important for us is really to be flexible.
"I'm pretty sure Chase [Carey, F1 chairman] and the teams will be capable of putting together the best championship we can have. From our side, we are ready for whatever is needed whether short race weekends, double races, whenever it will finish or packing the races together.
"It is important to be flexible and making sure we can have good races as well for the fans."
Binotto did, however, admit that it is not yet clear when F1 will get back on track - although he is hopeful for an early-July start.
"I think it is very difficult to answer [when the season will start]," he added. "No one can really know it.
"F1 is certainly trying to organise the best season, maybe starting early July if that would be possible but we cannot have any confirmation at the moment. But I think by the end of May we will have a clearer picture.
"I think it is in the interests of everyone to start racing when we can, when that will be possible, and have as many races as we can but I think now it's too early to have a clear picture of what will be the future."
Binotto: F1 should avoid 'emotional' cost-cap decision
Binotto addressed a number of topics in the interview - which can be watched in full by clicking play at the top of the article - including on F1's financial concerns.
McLaren boss Zak Brown was recently quoted as saying four teams could exit the sport if the current crisis wasn't handled correctly, while also calling for the $175m (£143m) budget cap set for 2021 to be significantly reduced.
But while Binotto said cutting costs is crucial, he believes the same limit for every team would hamper those who are producing all the parts.
"Certainly it is a concern," Binotto said of F1 and its teams' finance. "We are fully aware of the difficulties of some teams and we are fully aware we need to address costs for the future of F1 - reducing costs is the first driver of making sure each single team is surviving.
"We are discussing a budget-cap reduction but we should not forget in doing that exercise that we've got different structures, and different assets. There are teams which are constructors like Ferrari and other top teams where we are designing, developing, homologating and producing each single component of our cars.
"Other teams are customers, buying some parts, and do not have the same structures. So when discussing a budget cap we must not forget we have different situations, and it's important we found a common ground which is suited to the different situations and maybe the answer is not a single budget cap equal for all the teams."
Binotto explained that there have been very "constructive and positive" meetings regarding costs but "there are still realities required to make the right decisions" - and urged the sport to be rational.
He continued: "I think we should avoid being emotional at the moment.
"We know that we will face difficult situations but we need as well to somehow maintain the DNA and the essence of F1, which is competition, and we should not forget that about F1 and motorsport.
"So I think it's important to look at the details but make a rational decision which has been based on considerations and not emotions."