Charles Leclerc has taken his fault for the French Grand Prix upon himself, the website believes unnecessarily as the car appeared to power on with a throttle glitch. And Ferrari’s problems are of course broader than this single issue and ought to be a concern the team itself more than the drivers. This view is shared by Nico Rosberg, former F1 driver turned TV pundit. Rosberg points the finger at Ferrari and believes the team has huge problems.
A failed strategy with Carlos Sainz, perfectible communication, another power unit problem with Guanyu Zhou’s Alfa Romeo… the Scuderia experienced problem after problem. Nico Rosberg also has his sights set more on Ferrari than Charles Leclerc, as he told Sky after the race.
“I really think it was premature of Leclerc to take the responsibility for the accident on himself,” he said.
“Because it’s really very unusual for it to happen like that, because you’re not even pushing to the max, you’re saving your tyres.”
“For the rear to start moving like that… that’s exactly when the wind comes from the rear, and if you have an unlucky gust or something like that, it can suddenly take away 20 per cent of your aerodynamic downforce at that moment.”
Rosberg suspects that the Ferrari driver is not at fault: why not the engine or even the pedal, although Mattia Binotto has firmly denied this?
“And also, what happened to the engine or even the pedal? All it takes is a small cut or something that can make the rear end go out.” Rosberg agrees with this website that the rear coming around in that manner points to a potential car issue rather than driver error. READ MORE ON THIS STORY
“I really think they need to take the time to look into it, because I still can’t believe it was driver error.”
“I also thought it was a bit strange, and this is where Charles was complaining that he couldn’t get on the throttle because of the pedal? I’m not sure what happened.”
The other miss of the race Sunday for Ferrari was the strategy of Carlos Sainz. The Spaniard stopped 5 or 10 laps too late in the mediums, but it begs the question; did he really need to stop when he was 3rd?. Moreover, his team discussed strategy with him in the middle of an intense battle with Sergio Pérez’s Red Bull.
“I was shaking my head at Ferrari’s strategy for Sainz. What the hell are they doing here? First of all, he was in the middle of a huge battle on the track and his whole team wasn’t looking at that anymore, they were doing their calculations on pit stop timing. They were talking to him like they were in the middle of the action. I thought, guys, what are you doing?”
“Then the tyres would have been good until the end. He even had a chance of getting Lewis again for second.”
“What’s going on here?”
“Really, I think it’s time they made some changes there, serious changes.”
“Terrible judgment there, terrible. I can’t explain it. Mattia [Binotto, the team boss] really needs to get on top of this and make some serious changes, it’s time.”
However, Nico Rosberg believes that Charles Leclerc, thanks to the inherent top speed of his car, still has a small chance of closing the gap on Max Verstappen, even if that gap is 63 points.
“The only thing is, let’s not forget, Ferrari seem to have the best car at the moment.”
“So that can give us hope that Leclerc can still make a championship comeback in the remaining races. It’s still up for grabs.”