Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto and one of his drivers Carlos Sainz agreed their disastrous Dutch Grand Prix on Sunday was “a mess”.
In a chaotic and busy race, punctuated by stoppages, Red Bull emerged triumphant as Max Verstappen drove to his fourth consecutive victory ahead of Mercedes’ George Russell and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.
Ferrari’s race was filled with series of errors and misfortunes including bungled pit-stops, unsafe releases in the pit lane and erratic strategy calls.
A poor first pit stop left Sainz standing for 12 seconds as his crew searched for a left rear tyre.
“Oh my God!” exclaimed Sainz.
Not only had his crew mislaid a tyre, but they also left a wheel gun on the ground in front of Sergio Perez of Red Bull.
“A mess,” said Binotto. “What happened: a mess. A very, very late call. The mechanics weren’t ready. We will revisit that at the end of this race.
“We made the call at the last corner, at the banking. Not enough time, but we will review at the end.”
Sainz’s dramas were not over. He was later released unsafely from his pit into the path of Fernando Alonso’s Alpine, an error that cost him a five-second penalty and dropped him from fifth to eighth in the race result.
Leclerc salvaged a podium after Mercedes left seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton vulnerable on cold, worn, tyres in the closing laps, allowing the Monegasque driver to pass.
An investigation by the stewards into the Perez-Sainz incident did not result in any further action against the Italian team.
Sainz said any penalty for his unsafe release would have been “a joke”.
“We ran into all sorts of trouble in the race and we need to analyse why because it cost us a lot of points,” he added.
He said he felt he had braked to avoid hitting a McLaren mechanic.
“That’s what made it an unsafe release. I had tried to save someone’s life, not generate a dangerous situation.”
Leclerc was happy to be back on the podium but admitted Ferrari’s future prospects were not good as Formula One heads to Ferrari’s home track, Monza, for the Italian Grand Prix on September 11.
“Red Bull is the faster car at the moment, especially in race pace and Mercedes seem to have gained a bit of performance in race pace, too,” he said.
“I think we are disappointed as a team. And Monza… It’s not our best track… unfortunately. I’m looking forward to it, but it will be more difficult.”