Binotto wants ‘clarification’ after Ferrari’s failed protest

Michelle Foster
Ferrari principal Mattia Binotto walks through the paddock. Australia, April 2022.

Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto has questions for the FIA after Max Verstappen “quite evidently” crossed the line at the pit exit in Monaco but escaped without penalty.

Ferrari protested the Red Bulls after the Monaco Grand Prix, claiming both race winner Sergio Perez and Max Verstappen had crossed the line at the pit exit as they made their way back onto the track after pit-stops.

The protest was dismissed by the stewards, with the reason being the wording of the race director’s notes did not fully align with the wording of the Sporting Code.

Binotto is perplexed.

“I would also like to ask the FIA for some clarification,” he told Gazzetta dello Sport. “Verstappen crossing the yellow line is quite evident.

“When this has happened in the past, a five-second penalty was awarded.

“We don’t understand the passivity shown today.”

But while Red Bull’s 1-3 finish stood, Binotto conceded Ferrari have themselves to blame for losing the win.

Charles Leclerc had been cruising to the win, Carlos Sainz acting as a buffer between him and the Red Bulls, when Ferrari botched his strategy.

They called him in for intermediate tyres and three laps later for slicks, the latter a double-stack that meant Leclerc fell to fourth place.

The Italian team boss admitted mistakes were made.

“Leclerc’s disappointment,” Binotto said, “is also our disappointment.

“When you start first and second and lose the race in this way, sorry, it means there was some error, basically.

“Charles is right. If a driver finishes fourth something didn’t work out. There is some choice to review.”

He added: “We did something wrong, on at least a couple of occasions. We will analyse them.

“We underestimated the speed of the intermediate tyres. We should have stopped Charles a lap earlier or not stopped him at all. Leave him out, protect the position and send him directly on the dry tyres.”

 

Sunday’s result meant Verstappen extended his lead over Leclerc to nine points in the Drivers’ standings while Red Bull have a 36-point buffer over Ferrari in the Constructors’ Championship.

“It will serve as a lesson,” Binotto concluded. “We want to make up for it as soon as possible. We know the car is fine, the drivers are in good shape, but there are no smiles in the team – we are all disappointed.

“But without pointing the finger at anyone, this team wants to grow.”

 

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