Passion

<em>Photo: Getty Images</em>

Binotto: a new era for Scuderia Ferrari

The 2019 season sees many new faces, and after an uphill start and a number of extraordinary victories, the future of the Scuderia is still to be written

For Scuderia Ferrari, 2019 was above all a year of re-shaping. The many young members of its team, including Principal Mattia Binotto, grew as the season progressed. 2019 was the year of Scuderia Ferrari's 90th anniversary, as well as when #essereFerrari came into being. The hashtag represents the common thread running through the new cycle that has just begun, and which continues to fuel the myth of the Prancing Horse.

The season saw the début of Charles Leclerc as the leading talent in the Ferrari Driver Academy; in the second race, despite pole position and victory falling by the wayside due to a problem with his SF90, he truly demonstrated his class.

Sebastian Vettel speeding along the Marina Bay Circuit, during the Singapore Grand Prix, 2019. He went on to win the race
Sebastian Vettel speeding along the Marina Bay Circuit, during the Singapore Grand Prix, 2019. He went on to win the race

The start of the season proved tricky, and it took all of Sebastian Vettel's skill to support his team on the challenging Sundays in Baku, Barcelona and Monaco. In Canada, the German was first across the finish line, and was only deprived of a win by a heavy penalty imposed by the judges. In its own way, however, this episode made history; from that moment onwards, the philosophy of 'let them race' has prevailed, guaranteeing more exciting races than we have seen for a long time. Ever since that Sunday night in Sakhir, it was clear that for Charles, victory was only a matter of time.

And he soon took his place on the top step of the podium at Spa-Francorchamps, on one of the most difficult days of the year for him. He was racing with a broken heart, after the death of his friend Anthoine Hubert in Formula 2 just the day before. The most wonderful celebration of Charles' triumph took place in Italy, in Milan, when the Scuderia Ferrari was greeted by the applause of more than ten thousand fans, gathered in Piazza Duomo for the 90th anniversary event. The climax came four days later at Monza, when Charles sent the Autodromo Nazionale into a frenzy, catapulting Scuderia Ferrari back into first place after nine years.

Charles Leclerc celebrates with Mattia Binotto and the Ferrari team after victory at Spa-Francorchamps, in 2019       <em>Photo: Getty Images</em>
Charles Leclerc celebrates with Mattia Binotto and the Ferrari team after victory at Spa-Francorchamps, in 2019 Photo: Getty Images

The progress demonstrated by the SF90 is indicative of the sterling work done by the team during the summer break. The definitive test took place in Singapore, with a fantastic one-two that no team had ever managed to achieve before, as Sebastian ended a dry spell without a single victory, plaguing him since the Belgian GP in 2018. The season finale saw the SF90s taking extremely fast qualifying times, but alas no new victories.

There is much to be done in 2020, but the foundations have been laid. More pages are still to be written in the legendary story of the Prancing Horse.

Ferrari