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RaceFans Round-up: Binotto will skip some races this year to focus on Ferrari’s 2022 project


In the round-up: Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto says he will not attend every round on the 2021 F1 calendar.

What they say

Binotto, who missed several races last year, said he will do so again as part of Ferrari’s efforts to maximise its development opportunity for the new 2022 regulations:

Last year I missed some races because at the end there is an entire company to manage and it’s not only the race weekend at the race track, there is a lot of things going on back at the Maranello, a lot of people to manage, to coordinate the activity itself.

This year will be hopefully a 23-race championship. It will be very long, it will be very intense in the second half. And there is quite a big challenge for 2022 as well to face. So my intention will be again not to be at all the races during the 2021 season.

Certainly I will be part of the start of the season itself, that will be important to assess our performance at the start, to make sure that everything is working well on the race track. But at some stage I will start missing some races and being back at Maranello concentrating on 2022.

Obviously when being back at Maranello, we’ve got our [virtual] garage so I will be always in direct contact with the race track. But as well we’ve got a racing director on track, Laurent Mekies, who has obviously got a lot of experience now as well with us. He has proved last year to be capable of dealing [with] and leading the entire team over the race weekend. So I’m comfortable for the choice and comfortable not being sometimes at the race track.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

F1 has elite exemption for UK staff

Reports elsewhere yesterday that Formula 1 has been unable to get the British government to grant “elite sportsperson exemption” to F1 personnel are wide of the mark, RaceFans understands. The exemptions, which were in place last year, allow F1 personnel to travel abroad countries without having to isolate from others on their return.

An F1 spokesperson told RaceFans the reports were “completely wrong”. Britain’s exemption for F1 personnel, as well as those involved in other elite sports, was confirmed two weeks ago.

More F3 testing postponed

Formula 3 has announced a further delay to its pre-season testing. The planned test at the Circuit de Catalunya which was scheduled for March 16th-17th, will go ahead on a new date which is yet to be confirmed.

The test has been delayed as Spain has extended its ban on travellers arriving from the UK, which prevents British-based teams Carlin and Hitech from being able to participate. F3 previously called off a two-day test at Jerez this month for the same reason.

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