Ferrari should get rid of their entire strategy team due to the costly mistakes they have made this season, says Marc Surer.
Although the Scuderia strategists have not been the only department at fault – there have also been power-unit breakdowns and driver errors – those responsible for organising pit-stops during races have received the most flak.
Charles Leclerc has been the primary sufferer of decisions made which have potentially prevented him from doubling his total of three wins this year.
Leading the Monaco, British and Hungarian Grands Prix, Leclerc did not even finish on the podium in any of them as a result of either being called in for a pit-stop at the wrong time or left out on the wrong compound of tyres.
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Carlos Sainz, who ironically won at Silverstone due to his team-mate’s misfortune, has also missed out on valuable points – most notably at the French Grand Prix – and twice resorted to trying to influence strategy himself from the cockpit by offering his own ideas.
Some pundits have suggested heads should roll at Maranello, with Ralf Schumacher even claiming team principal Mattia Binotto could be in danger of losing his job before action returns in Belgium following the summer break.
Surer, however, would have his sights trained on some of those who report to Binotto.
“The strategists should be fired,” the former Brabham driver told Formel1.de.
“You can really only shake your head at the fact they just manage to make the wrong decision again and again. I’d fire all the strategy people!
“How you can get so much wrong, it’s unbelievable.”
Surer also took issue with Binotto’s claim that it had been the pace of the car, rather than strategy, that meant Max Verstappen, who started 10th on the grid, managed to get past Leclerc as well as Sainz to win in Hungary.
“Yeah, if you put the wrong tyres on. He was leading the race before – it’s really too slow…,” said the 70-year-old sardonically.
Surer, who finished fourth in Brazilian and Italian Grands Prix for Ensign and Brabham respectively, does not absolve Binotto from blame, however.
“But somehow someone from the top should actually say something – ‘what are they actually doing? We have the fastest car in the field’,” he added.
There was also criticism for the Italian giants’ chairman John Elkann who, says Surer, has not fronted up in the way Enzo Ferrari, Luca di Montezemolo or Sergio Marchionne would have done in difficult moments.
“Someone you had in front of the camera and who then also made an announcement, that’s missing now,” said the Swiss pundit. “Maybe that’s the reason why it’s just rippling along now.”