Binotto unhappy as ‘nobody respected’ pit lane rules

Date published: August 2 2021 - Michelle Foster

George Russell leads leaving pits Hungary

Mattia Binotto wasn’t impressed with Ferrari’s rivals in Hungary as “nobody respected” the rules of the pit lane as 15 drivers pulled into the pits on the second formation lap.

Sunday’s Hungarian Grand Prix got off to a chaotic start on a wet Hungaroring with Valtteri Bottas causing a multi-car crash while Lance Stroll took out Charles Leclerc.

Down to just one Ferrari, Carlos Sainz left the pits after the red flag was cleared to resume the race with a standing start on the grid.

But with the track having dried out, all of the remaining cars – except pole-sitter Lewis Hamilton in the Mercedes – pulled into the pits to swap their intermediate Pirellis for slicks.

It was chaos with Binotto saying Sainz lost out in the mix as Ferrari did everything they could to avoid an unsafe release.

He told Sky Italia: “With Carlos we entered the pits, the right choice to come back for the tyre change, a great pit stop from the team because it was under two seconds.

“Then we remained still because we know it’s dangerous to get back in the pit lane for an unsafe release, they are clear rules.

“Nobody respected these things, so we remained in traffic behind others that instead went back into the pit lane without watching who was arriving.

“So it’s a pity because for Carlos it could have been a different race.”

Such was the chaos in the pits that one car, Nikita Mazepin’s Haas, suffered so much damage that he was forced out of the race after he was hit by Kimi Raikkonen in an unsafe release by Alfa Romeo.

Raikkonen was handed a 10-second penalty for his team’s antics.

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Sainz, who was fourth on Sunday, reckons the first pit stop cost him the opportunity to win the grand prix.

He said: “I don’t know what happened when we pitted for slicks, suddenly the AlphaTauri and the Williams went in front of me when I was in front of them at the pit stop.

“That meant that the whole first stint I was stuck behind them.

“Once they got out of the way I managed to overcut them and show very, very strong pace and then Lewis played the trick he has played the past few years here with the pit stop late and then passing everyone at the end.

“I tried my best, fuel-saved a lot in the last 10 laps. The McLaren in the last corner could have got out the way quite clearly earlier than that but it was what it is.

“P4 was the most I was going to finish after the problem at the pit stop.”

Additional reporting from Luca Brambilla