Nico Rosberg on Ferrari’s latest error: ‘F2 and F3 teams do a better job’

Sam Cooper
Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto. Australia April 2022.

Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto looks on while in the paddock. Australia April 2022.

Nico Rosberg was critical of Ferrari’s competence as they again made mistakes that cost their driver Carlos Sainz valuable time in the Dutch Grand Prix.

Sainz was left stranded without a left rear wheel when he came into the pits on lap 15. The incident cost him 12.7 seconds and having been running in P3, he found himself well down the order and out of contention for the win.

To make matters worse, the Ferrari team also left a tyre gun on the edge of the pit box which Sergio Perez ran over as he departed the pits. That incident was being looked at by the stewards after the race.

Later in the race, Sainz was given a five-second penalty for an unsafe release which meant he finished P8.

Ferrari shooting themselves in the foot has become a dominant theme of their season, with poor strategy calls to equally bad pit-stops costing both Sainz and Charles Leclerc points over the course of the campaign.

Following his botched pit-stop, Sainz simply said “oh my God” as he waited for the tyre – and Rosberg said changes need to come at the team.

“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.”

While the pace of the Ferrari has been able to paper over some of the team’s cracks this season, that advantage has disappeared with now both Red Bull and Mercedes looking quick. Rosberg suggested the team should bring in someone to work alongside Binotto in the leadership of Ferrari.

“Their car is just a little bit off the pace now as well in the races, especially we saw it at Spa, we saw it again here,” said Rosberg. “So they are starting to lose out. They need to make sure they keep developing that car as well in the right direction.

“One of the things people often say is Binotto is a technician, so sometimes you might suggest you need a joint leadership team of one being the technician and one being the business manager and people manager. That’s what some people have been suggesting.

“I don’t know Binotto well enough. But in any case, he needs to be making some personnel changes there I feel because it’s just going wrong too much. When we are commentating, we are just waiting for it to happen at the moment because we just know there’s the next mistake coming from Ferrari very soon.

“That’s not good. So they need to make some fundamental changes, I think, in their personnel or how people are working together there.”