Ferrari team principal, Mattia Binotto, was unmoved by 2016 world champion Nico Rosberg’s suggestion that changes need to be made to Ferrari following more blunders at the Dutch Grand Prix.
Having started third, Carlos Sainz had started to fall back into the clutches of Sir Lewis Hamilton and, going onto lap 12, the Italian side made a late call to bring the 27-year-old into the pits.
However, the pit crew were not told until it was too late, and the subsequent confusion resulted in one of his mechanics being in the wrong part of the pit box.
It took 27 seconds for him to make his way back round to the left rear corner of the car, by which point Sainz’s hopes of a podium had all but disappeared.
Adding insult to injury was the wheel gun they had left in the pit lane, which was then run over by Red Bull’s Sergio Perez.
Later in the afternoon, Sainz was called in again under a Safety Car, and he was unsafely released straight into the path of Fernando Alonso, earning him a five-second penalty.
He crossed the line fifth, and ended the race eighth while Charles Leclerc ended up third behind George Russell and race winner Max Verstappen after a Virtual Safety Car cost the Monegasque time.
Yet more inconceivable blunders lost the Scuderia points in the championship to Red Bull, who now lead by 135 in the Constructors’ Standings.
Rosberg did not hold back in his criticism of Binotto’s team in the aftermath of an eventful afternoon.
“Mattia Binotto keeps saying, ‘no, no we don’t need to make any changes, everything is going well’,” he told Sky Sports.
“I mean when is the day coming? It’s not possible, even Formula 2 teams or Formula 3 teams do a better job at their strategy and pit stops than Ferrari.
“You’re in the pits and there’s no tyre there, in a normal race, at some point they really need to start making some changes.
“Beyond that, also their car is just a little bit off the pace now, in the race especially.
“We saw it at Spa, we saw it again here, they’re starting to lose out, ao they need to make sure they keep developing that car in the right direction.”
The 36-year-old suggested that Binotto, who has spent much of his career working in the engine department, needs some leading the team.
“One of the things that people often say is that Binotto is a technician, so sometimes you might suggest that you need a joint-leadership team of one being the technician and one being the business manager and people manager,” explained Rosberg.
“I don’t know Binotto well enough, but in any case, he needs to be making some personnel changes there, because I feel it’s just going wrong too much.
“When we’re commentating, we’re just waiting for it to happen at the moment because we just know there’s a next mistake coming from Ferrari very soon.
“And that’s not good, so they do need to make some fundamental changes in their personnel or how people are working there.”
Binotto has continually stood by his team after a multitude of mistakes that have set them back in the title race, and defended them upon hearing Rosberg’s comments.
“We will not change people, that’s a straight answer to Rosberg,” said the Switzerland-born Italian.
“What is more important is simply the stability and making sure you’re improving race by race, we have a great team, I have no doubt about that.”
The 52-year-old conceded that Sainz’s slow stop was a “mess,” and he later explained that they were covering off the undercut from Mercedes’ Sir Lewis Hamilton.
“Lewis was preparing the undercut,” said Binotto.
“It was a too late call so we had no time to react, I’m pretty sure we can improve in the future. I’m less concerned of that than the pace of the car.”
Sainz remarked after the Hungarian Grand Prix – where strategic errors turned a Leclerc win into a sixth-placed finish – that his team are not a “disaster,” but he did acknowledge after the latest error that such mistakes cannot keep happening going into 2023.
“We keep costing ourselves some points and we need to see why,” he said.
“If we want to have a shot next year we need to keep improving these things and make the mistakes this year.”
As Hamilton ended fourth behind second-placed Russell, Mercedes closed the gap to Ferrari to 30 points in the battle for second in the Constructors’ Standings.