Formula 1 managing director Ross Brawn insists Scuderia boss Mattia Binotto is the right man to lead Ferrari despite the Italian outfit’s persistent performance shortfall.

Labeled earlier this year as the clear favourite to head the field at the start of the season, Ferrari has painfully failed to live up to that expectation, the Italian outfit unable to consistently challenge the supremacy of its Mercedes rival.

The Scuderia was banking on updates and an engine upgrade in Barcelona to finally inflict a defeat on the Silver Arrows squad. To no avail unfortunately as the German team collected in Spain its fifth straight one-two finish.

Italian media has put the House of Maranello in its line of sight once again, criticizing everything from its inability to overhaul Mercedes, to its strategy decisions and team orders.

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Brawn, who guided the Scuderia during its golden Schumacher years, feels the team’s foundation is as strong as it should be, but it is also up against a massive opponent.

“Listening to the comments of its drivers and of team principal Mattia Binotto, the updates introduced in Barcelona produced the expected results, but not with the same impact as those of their arch-rivals,” said Brawn.

“In such a competitive sport it’s not enough to simply progress, you have to do so at a pace that outguns rivals who are often already one step ahead and pushing on with further upgrades.

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“You are aiming at a moving target, the bar is raised every day and it requires ever more effort to catch up. I can understand the frustration surely being felt in Maranello.

“They are working hard, even bringing forward developments originally scheduled for later in the campaign, but still they come to the track and realise that not only have they not closed the gap, it’s grown.”

In short, and in a reference to an old Kimi Raikkonen clamor, Brawn urges everyone to leave Binotto alone as the Swiss “knows what he’s doing”.

“I’m definitely not going to give Mattia any advice,” added the Brit. “He knows what he’s doing, as he’s already experienced this sort of situation during his long career in Formula 1.

“A new cycle has begun at Ferrari and it’s partly from difficult situations such as this one that one learns and improves, because sometimes the cold shower of defeat produces a quicker response than the warm comfort zone of reasonable results.”

Nevertheless, Mercedes lead over Ferrari in the Constructors’ standing swelled to 96 points in Barcelona. Yet Brawn doesn’t believe the championship is done and dusted.

“Five wins, five one-twos – pretty much perfect,” he admitted.

“Apart from their points tally, what was really impressive was the Silver Arrows’ technical superiority on a track that is widely believed to produce a true picture of the pecking order on the grid due to the characteristics of its layout, and also due to the fact that the circuit is the preferred winter testing ground of Formula 1, when the race eventually comes to Barcelona it highlights the steps in development made by the teams.

“And it’s in this latter area that Mercedes have really demonstrated their strengths.

“So, is that it then, championship over bar a battle between the two team-mates at the Anglo-German team?

“I don’t think so as there are still a lot of races to come, but it’s true to say that Mercedes have laid down a strong early marker on both championships.”

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