At this level, it becomes a trademark. In any case, a bad habit, both fascinating and still disconcerting. Sunday at Zandvoort, Ferrari propelled one of its drivers into nothingness in the pits, twice.
From the start, everything was going well. Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz chased leader Max Verstappen (Red Bull), with the firm intention of playing two against one in terms of strategy. When the Scuderia shot itself in the foot when the Spaniard arrived, on the 18th of 72 laps, in front of his garage. Where a spare wheel, the left rear, was missing.
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Entering the pit lane in third position, the Madrid native came out eleventh after 12″7 of immobilization, having lost places to Lewis Hamilton, George Russell (Mercedes) and Sergio Pérez (Red Bull). crew would have been surprised by the sudden recall of the F1 75 n°55, as if they could not expect it and prepare for it, in the middle of a strategic “window”.
“Unsafe release” at the end of the race
To add to this disorganization, one of the mechanics, seized with panic, negligently left his pneumatic gun lying around, on which Sergio Pérez could not help but roll and bounce… However, the marshals decided not to take action. two reasons: the gun was inside the perimeter of the Ferrari team and Pérez ran over it because of the narrow pit lane.
Undeterred, Carlos Sainz continued on his way aiming for fifth place, but, as if that were not enough, his team ruined everything a second time by poorly managing its exit from the pit stop, on the 58th lap, on a classic ” unsafe release” (under the nose of Fernando Alonso) immediately noted by the race direction, and logically sanctioned by an addition of 5 seconds to his race time. This resulted in him falling from 5th to 8th place. And again, it took 0″2 for it not to pass behind Esteban Ocon, to whom Alpine shouted in the ears: “Sainz has a 5 second penalty, attack like crazy!”
Ferrari surprised its mechanics!
For his part, Charles Leclerc saved the furniture, and even found this champagne which he had tasted only once during the nine previous races by having a Lewis Hamilton bend at the end of its tire potential. But the account was not there. And less than a week from the Italian Grand Prix, at Monza, it’s embarrassing to say the least.
But to hear Maranello, it’s all about bad luck. “There was a late decision to bring him in and when he stopped the left rear tire was not ready.explained the Italian team. Carlos lost about nine seconds and therefore several positions. He rejoined the track in eleventh position, after which he recovered well to sixth. During the safety car period, after Bottas stopped, Carlos again pitted for the ‘soft’ tyres, planning to push all the way. As he drove off, he had to slow down to avoid members of the McLaren pit crew ahead of him. The F1-75 was moving slowly, and when Fernando Alonso got behind Carlos he had to slow down to avoid hitting the Ferrari. This incident was severely considered a dangerous release and Carlos was therefore given a five-second penalty.”
As for the boss of the team, Mattia Binotto, he remained true to himself by not talking about this new miss. As at Spa last Sunday, he dwelt on the lack of performance of the “rossa”, and the bad luck of Charles Leclerc, who returned just before the virtual safety car period.
“Something is wrong”
“The key is that we weren’t fast enough. Looking at the pace in qualifying, we were hoping for a better result. But the speed of the car wasn’t great, especially on ‘medium’ and ‘hard’ “exposed the Italian-Swiss manager to Sky Sports.
“It’s been three bad races in a row, in Hungary, Belgium and herehe admitted. I think we are not exploiting the full potential of the car. The potential is there. It was the case at the start of the season, but not anymore. There is something wrong that we need to fix. It has nothing to do with the technical directive (on FIA anti-porpoising measures). In Hungary, I said we weren’t good enough. Maybe we need to look at the package that we introduced that is not balanced today.”
“The Mercedes were literally flying with the ‘hard’ tyres”commented Charles Leclerc, who no longer wants to hear about the title. “As I said at Spa, the gap is really very important”, he cut. Even if he regained second place in the world championship, 109 lengths behind Max Verstappen and tied on points with Sergio Pérez (Red Bull), the mention made to Mercedes shows that Ferrari must consider German cars as real rivals. One more complication.
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