Far from being impeccable during the first part of the Formula 1 season, Ferrari once again stumbled during the Dutch Grand Prix. Carlos Sainz Jr. was in third place and fell back several positions due to an organisational problem. After the race, Mattia Binotto commented on this incident, but also on the quality of the car, his reason for the disastrous issues rather than the team itself.
Ferrari shot itself in the foot again on Sunday. The Scuderia, whose performance has been somewhat questionable all season has yet again made another mistake. This time, not with Charles Leclerc, but with Carlos Sainz Jr.
The Spaniard, who was in third place at the time, decided to return to the pits to change his tyres. However, the team was badly organised and forgot one of the spare tyres. The immediate consequence was that Carlos Sainz Jr dropped back to eleventh place after a 12-second stop.
In the end, the driver finished eighth in the Dutch Grand Prix, leaving him with just a few crucial points when considering Mercedes are on a charge and closing in on the Ferrari’s championship position. To make matters worse, he was given a five second penalty for an unsafe release.
The driver made a dangerous exit from the pit lane, almost hitting Fernando Alonso.
“You could call it a late pit call… And we made a mistake, because we clearly had to wait. […] For me it was not a dangerous pit stop. We’ll see what the FIA says. We lost a lot of time in the pits, on the stops, and I had to fight with cars that I don’t usually fight with,” said Carlos Sainz Jr.
FerrarI chief Mattia Binotto, whose job is in serious question, was asked by Sky Sports about the latest setback.
“There was a late decision to bring him in and when he stopped the left rear tyre was not ready. Carlos lost about nine seconds and therefore several positions. He rejoined the track in eleventh position, after which he recovered well to sixth place,” explained the Italian-Swiss manager after the Grand Prix.
The manager also returned to the penalty imposed on Carlos Sainz Jr. During the safety car period, after Bottas’ stop, Carlos again jumped to the pits for ‘soft’ tyres, planning to attack all the way. As he set off again, he had to slow down to avoid members of the McLaren pit crew ahead of him.
The F1-75 was moving slowly, and when Fernando Alonso came up behind Carlos, he had to slow down to avoid hitting the Ferrari.
“This incident was harshly considered a dangerous release and Carlos was given a five-second penalty,” said Binotto.
But for him, the quality of the car was a worthy deflection in terms of subject matter post race, despite Charles Leclerc’s third place on Sunday.
“The key is that we weren’t fast enough. If you look at the pace in qualifying, we were hoping for a better result. But the speed of the car wasn’t great, especially on medium and hard,
“That’s three bad races in a row, in Hungary, Belgium and here. I think we are not exploiting the full potential of the car. The potential is there. It was at the beginning of the season, but not anymore,
“There is something wrong with it that we need to fix. It has nothing to do with the technical directive. In Hungary I said we were not good enough. Maybe we need to look at the package we introduced and it’s not balanced today,” said Binotto.
Far from being reassuring a few days before the Monza Grand Prix.