Mattia Binotto responds directly to Nico Rosberg’s Ferrari criticism

Sam Cooper
Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto. Hungary July 2022.

Mattia Binotto has said it is “easy to speak when you are outside” in response to Nico Rosberg’s criticism aimed at the Ferrari team.

Ferrari failed to cover themselves in glory again as Carlos Sainz was left hoisted into the air waiting for a tyre during the Dutch Grand Prix, effectively knocking him out of contention for a podium finish.

As the Spaniard arrived in the pits, all appeared not to be well when the rear tyre mechanic undid the wheel nut only to find nobody was ready to put a fresh tyre on.

The mechanics scrambled, leaving Sainz to utter an exhaustive “oh my God” until the new tyre was eventually fitted – but not before it had left the Spaniard stationary for 12.7 seconds.

It was the latest incident in a long line for Ferrari, who have repeatedly shot themselves in the foot over the season, all but eliminating them from both the Drivers’ Championship and Constructors’ title race.

While attention turned to Mercedes’ choice of strategy later in the race, former Silver Arrows driver Rosberg pointed the spotlight back at Ferrari and said F2 and F3 teams do a better job.

“Oh my goodness,” Rosberg told Sky Sports F1. “Mattia Binotto keeps saying ‘no, no, we don’t need to make any changes, everything is going well’. I mean, when is the day coming? It’s not possible [to carry on as it is].

“Even Formula 2 teams or Formula 3 teams do a better job at their strategy and pit-stops than Ferrari. So you’re in the pit and there’s no tyre in a normal race. At some point, they really need to start making some changes.”

Binotto responded to the criticism and said his answer to Rosberg was that no change is coming.

“First, I think it is so easy to speak when you are outside [of the paddock]. It is easy to criticise,” he said, quoted by Motorsport.com.

“But we will not change people – that is my answer to Rosberg. We have great people and it has been proven what is more important in sport is stability and that we make sure we are improving day-by-day and race-by-race.

“We have great people in the team and I have no doubt on that. It takes years and experience for all teams to be at the front and I think there is no reason why it should be different for ourselves.”

The Ferrari team principal put the error down to the lateness of the call as the team looked to counteract Lewis Hamilton’s strategy.

“Yes, it was a very late call to react to Lewis [Hamilton] with Carlos [Sainz]. It was too late a call,” the 52-year-old said.

“But I know, as he (Rosberg) should know as well because he is an experienced driver, it is a lot easier to address those type of problems rather than the performance.

“The performance is what counts the most today in my view.”