Ferrari must get better at navigating the political landscape of Formula 1, according to team principal Mattia Binotto.
Last year the Scuderia came under frequent fire from rival teams for the legality of their power unit, pressure Binotto felt his team was ill-equipped to handle.
“I think that it was maybe showing one of our weaknesses of the season,” he told Motorsport-Total.com. “We are not good enough in polemics, and there are people who are stronger than us – even in using the media to put pressure on.
“So it is something that we need to understand how to do better, and to better act in the future, because that’s part of the overall balance of a season.”
Asked whether the furore could be considered a positive as it proved his team had stolen a march on the rest of the grid, the 50-year-old maintained he would have still preferred less controversy.
“No, not really,” he said. “For me that is more polemics, finger pointing. Which in the end is about putting pressure or extra activity, because you need to reply to the interviews or reply to whatever has been questioned.
“I think it has been a distraction, and something we have been living with – and that is part of the experience. I will always say we are a young team, and being a young team we are facing new situations.”
Nevertheless, Binotto admitted he was pleased with the progress Ferrari’s engine department had made with the V6 turbo hybrids after a rocky debut season in 2014.
“I’m very pleased and I know it’s not something that happens in a single season … when we started in 2014 with a new format, we were a lot behind our competitors, and it has been a long push to challenge them.