F1 Champ Nico Rosberg Slams Ferrari Strategy, Mattia Binotto Responds

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Another week, another Ferrari strategic blunder and this time 2016 Formula 1 champ Nico Rosberg is calling them out.

Ferrari has been squandering one of the best cars they’ve built in several years with a slew of head-scratching decisions.

This weekend during the Dutch Grand Prix, Ferrari engineers called for Carlos Sainz to pit without allowing enough time for mechanics to round up the tires. This left the Spaniard stranded in the pit box for 12.7 seconds. An eternity in F1.

Rosberg — who appeared in over 200 Grands Prix driving for Williams and Mercedes — was covering the race for Sky Sports and he laid into Ferrari for the repeated gaffes.

“Oh my goodness,” he said about the Ferrari pitstops. “(Ferrari team principal) 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,” Rosberg said.

Nico Rosberg won a heated title battle with his Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton. He can probably identify lousy strategic calls when he sees them. (Photo by Peter J Fox/Getty Images)

Binotto had been facing questions about the team’s lackluster strategic performance since before the summer break. He responded directly to Rosberg’s criticism and dug his heels in saying that the team doesn’t need a shake-up.

“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.”

Welp. You don’t often see a barb like that thrown right back, like that in the world of Formula 1 where everyone usually minds their Ps and Qs.

Earlier this year, Rosberg was banned from the paddock because he wasn’t vaccinated. He still occasionally pops on to broadcasts, but it seems like he’s doing so from his home in Monaco (which sounds like the greatest gig ever).

Binotto has staunchly defended his team personnel at every turn, but that’s his job. Things keep going from bad to worse for the team that came out of the gates looking like title contenders.

Ferrari currently trails Red Bull in the constructor standings by 135 points.

Follow on Twitter: @Matt_Reigle

Written by Matt Reigle

Matt is a University of Central Florida graduate and a long-suffering Philadelphia Flyers fan living in Orlando, Florida. He can usually be heard playing guitar, shoe-horning obscure quotes from The Simpsons into conversations, or giving dissertations to captive audiences on why Iron Maiden is the greatest band of all time.

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