Mattia Binotto owns up to another Ferrari pit-stop ‘mess’ at Dutch Grand Prix

Jon Wilde
Carlos Sainz makes a pit-stop for Ferrari. Zandvoort September 2022.

Mattia Binotto admitted to another Ferrari “mess” after Carlos Sainz’s Dutch Grand Prix was wrecked by a poor first pit-stop.

The Spaniard had started third on the grid at Zandvoort behind Max Verstappen and his Ferrari team-mate Charles Leclerc, with the early exchanges producing little drama.

But the first significant incident occurred on lap 15 when Sainz came into the pits to have his soft tyres swapped for a set of mediums.

It quickly emerged there was a problem and no rear left tyre was ready to be bolted on, the mechanics having to wait for one to be brought from the garage as the driver endured an agonising delay.

Eventually stationary for 12 seconds, Sainz dropped down the order and said “oh my God” over the team radio in exasperation at what had happened.

Among those to benefit was Sergio Perez, who had been running behind Sainz and entered the pits at the same time. Red Bull, in the next garage, executed a much slicker stop that got the Mexican out first but as he drove away, Perez ran over a wheel gun that was on the floor while Ferrari tried to work out what was going on.

Ferrari’s Mattia Binotto was the team principal offering insight on the Sky F1 coverage over the weekend and he was swiftly quizzed about what had occurred during Sainz’s disastrous stop.

“A mess. What happened, a mess,” said Binotto. “A very, very last call, the mechanics were not ready. We will revisit that at the end of the race.

“We made the call at the last corner, at the banking. Not enough time, but we will review at the end.”

That was not the end of the drama for Sainz in the pits, however, for he was later unsafely released by the team at a subsequent stop, straight into the path of Fernando Alonso’s Alpine.

It cost the 28-year-old a five-second time penalty, which was all the more important due to a late Safety Car period that bunched up the field.

Although he crossed the line fifth, Sainz dropped to eighth position on a day when Ferrari’s operational procedures were again firmly in the spotlight.

Leclerc, meanwhile, took advantage of Mercedes refusing to bring Lewis Hamilton into the pits for a stop under the Safety Car to pass the Mercedes on track and salvage a podium finish, Verstappen winning his home event for the second year running with George Russell in second.