Written by Andrew Lwanga, Edited by Leah Brown
Ferrari Team Principal Mattia Binotto has revealed that winning the Formula 1 championship was never explicitly the team's target.
Ferrari's start to the 2022 season was by far the best start the Italian marque has had since the days of Sebastian Vettel in 2018. And while their return to the top has been largely welcomed, it has not been without challenge.
However, the Maranello team leader has said that the team's goal for the year has already been achieved.
"We set our objectives to be back competitive in 2022," Binotto said, speaking to the BBC. "So our objective is to be competitive, not to win the championship, and it would be completely wrong to turn that into: 'Let's try to win the championship because we are so competitive.'
"Being competitive is one fact; becoming world champion is another level of task that is maybe to take off some pressure from the team, but also I think it would be wrong as management to change objectives from the ones we gave them."
Further clarifying his statement, Binotto said that he intends for the 2022 season to be one that opens a cycle for championship contending and championship winning.
"No doubt what we intend to do is to try to open a cycle - become world champion, and not only once; try to stay there. But I think it will take time. Our internal mindset is still (that) we need to improve as a team to be capable of winning a championship."
The Ferrari boss did also state that the 2022 season is not a write-off and that the team will still contend for every victory as each race comes.
"It doesn't mean we will not do it. Maybe we will do it as soon as possible, but we are conscious of the fact that it is more than only being competitive.
"The ambition is there. Each single person working for Ferrari has the ambition. I don't think I need to remind them. More important is to let them focus on our process of continuous improvement, so each race is an opportunity for lesson-learned review and to build to do something better.
"And it is important to stay focused on each single race. We are not looking at the classifications."