Reports have begun circulating from a former Ferrari press officer that several team members initially refused to participate in Carlos Sainz’s victory celebrations in Silverstone.
The Scuderia strategists were once again the talking point for all the wrong reasons at the British Grand Prix when they decided not to pit Charles Leclerc under a late Safety Car while he was leading.
They did pit second-placed Sainz onto fresh Softs, and the Spaniard dispatched his team-mate late on in Silverstone, with the 24-year-old running old Hards.
Sergio Perez and Sir Lewis Hamilton then used their fresh tyres to clear the Monegasque, and what looked an almost certain victory turned into a fourth-placed finish for Leclerc.
He had, truth be told, been quicker than Sainz all race with the 27-year-old having started on pole, and Sainz was perhaps fortunate to beat Max Verstappen after making a mistake at Chapel that allowed the reigning champion through.
However, Verstappen struck a piece of debris, damaging his floor and ruining his chances of winning.
But Sainz had been staying in touch with the lead all race long, and exemplified his tremendous pace by taking pole in the wet on Saturday, so a win is very much a win – particularly since it is his first in the pinnacle of motorsport.
However, due to Leclerc, who is the lead driver in the championship, being denied a victory once again by a poor strategic decision, some team members were not impressed.
Alberto Antonini, who formerly served as a press officer to Ferrari, has it on good authority that some of them tried to skip the celebration photo.
“I have been told – and I trust the source – an ugly episode that occurred in the immediate aftermath of the Silverstone race,” he wrote in an article for formulapassion.it.
“Part of the Ferrari staff allegedly refused, at least initially, to attend the podium ceremony and photo op. If true, as I fear, this is not a good sign.
“A little healthy rivalry inside the garage is fine, it is fine for each mechanic and each technician to cheer for ‘his’ driver, but the common interest must be to aim to win.”
Team principal Mattia Binotto was seen wagging his finger at Leclerc after the race, and many presumed he was telling his driver not to speak ill of the team in his interviews.
Leclerc denied this, and suggested after the race that there may have been details he was not privy to at the time that would explain why he was not pitted along with Sainz.
“Obviously he wanted to cheer me up, that’s it,” the four-time race winner told Sky Sports.
“Again, we will have to look at the global picture, no? On my side I only have my picture of my race.
“Obviously, in the car sometimes you don’t have the full picture; on my side I feel like I’ve lost a little bit too much time in the first stint especially and in the first part of the second stint.
“This is only my view and it might change once I see the full picture.”
The Monegasque added that he wants the focus to be on his team-mate’s “incredible race win,” rather than his “disappointing” afternoon.
Leclerc and Binotto were seen dining together to smooth things out in Monaco on Tuesday evening.