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Formula 1 Dutch GP

Binotto hits back at Rosberg's F2/F3 jibe over Ferrari pitstops

Ferrari Formula 1 boss Mattia Binotto has hit back at comments from 2016 world champion Nico Rosberg that F2 and F3 teams are better at pitstops than the Maranello squad.

Carlos Sainz, Ferrari F1-75

The Dutch Grand Prix proved to be another tough one for Ferrari as it faced fresh dramas in the pitlane that derailed its hopes of a better result.

Carlos Sainz had been battling Lewis Hamilton over the first stint before it went wrong at his first stop when Ferrari failed to have all the tyres ready for the Spaniard.

Later on, during the intensity of the late safety car stops, Sainz was handed a five-second penalty for an unsafe release as he strayed into the path of Fernando Alonso, the result of which dropped him from fifth to eighth in the final race classification.

The pitstop dramas, coming off the back of a number of questionable strategy choices, have left Ferrari facing criticisms for needing to do a better job on the pitwall and in the pitlane.

And Rosberg, who acts as a pundit for Sky Sports F1, was openly critical, suggesting Ferrari was worse in how it handled matters than teams in junior categories.

"Oh my goodness," he said about the Ferrari pitstops. "Mattia Binotto keeps saying 'No, no, we don't need to make any changes, everything is going well'. When is the day coming?

"It's not possible – even Formula 2 teams or F3 teams do a better job at their strategy and pitstops than Ferrari.

"You go to the pits and there's no tyre there in a normal race? At some point they really need to start making some changes."

But Binotto has been left unimpressed by Rosberg's claims and says it is far too easy to be critical sitting in front of a television at home rather than understanding how things are really working on the ground.

Mattia Binotto, Team Principal, Ferrari, Charles Leclerc, Ferrari F1-75

Mattia Binotto, Team Principal, Ferrari, Charles Leclerc, Ferrari F1-75

Photo by: Ferrari

"First, I think it is so easy to speak when you are outside [of the paddock]. It is easy to criticise," he said.

"But we will not change people: that is my answer to Rosberg. We have got great people and it has been proven that what is more important in sport is stability and that we make sure we are improving day-by-day and race-by-race.

"We have got great people in the team and I have no doubt on that. It takes years and experience for all teams to be at the front, and I think there is no reason why it should be different for ourselves."

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Ferrari has explained that the problem at Sainz's pitstop was triggered by it making a late call to bring the Spaniard in, as it did not want to get undercut by Hamilton.

"Yes it was a very late call to react to Lewis [Hamilton] with Carlos [Sainz]. It was too late a call," he said.

"But I know as he [Rosberg] should know as well because he is an experienced driver, that it is a lot easier to address those type of problems rather than the performance.

"The performance is what counts the most today in my view."

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