Binotto Reveals the Real Reason for Ferrari’s Slow Pit-Stop of Charles Leclerc in Sochi

Published 09/27/2021, 5:04 AM EDT
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – MARCH 12: Ferrari Team Principal Mattia Binotto looks on in the Paddock during previews ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Australia at Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit on March 12, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)


The 2021 Russian Grand Prix ended with some unexpected winners and losers throughout the field due to the sudden downpour. All the teams were forced to make impulsive strategy calls, hoping that they pay off in the end.

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Some unexpected winners from yesterday include Kimi Raikkonen, who finished P8 after running the whole race outside the points, and some losers would include Fernando Alonso, who was in the chase for a podium place but had to settle with P6.

For Ferrari, it was mixed emotions at the end, as Carlos Sainz stood on the third step of the podium, but a wrong strategy choice deprived Charles Leclerc of any points at all.

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Mixed emotions for Ferrari

At the end of the race, Ferrari F1 team boss Mattia Binotto spoke to Sky Sports F1 and tried to explain the shortcomings that they faced as a team. One of the major points he touched upon was slow pit stops.

Formula One F1 – Monaco Grand Prix – Circuit de Monaco, Monte Carlo, Monaco – May 20, 2021, Ferrari Team Principal Mattia Binotto in the FIA Press Conference FIA/Handout via REUTERS

Ever since the pit stop regulation changed during the Belgian GP, botched-up pit stops have become more common among all the teams in the paddock.

The most notable of them is Max being held up for 11 seconds during the Italian GP. The same happened with Ferrari in the Russian GP as they had some really slow pit stops.

Binotto said, as quoted by FormulaPassion, “We will learn from this. We must try to improve in every area. Today some less than perfect pit stops cost us positions, especially with Charles. Let’s look at this to understand how to do it better.

“Have others also made a mistake? I don’t look at the others, I haven’t even looked at them today. We weren’t good enough in changing tires.” (Translated via Google Translate)

Back-to-back races causing fatigue for mechanics

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Another very interesting point he added, as a reason why the pit stops were slow is that the mechanics are really exhausted and tired due to the packed-up nature of the race schedule.

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – NOVEMBER 28: Charles Leclerc of Monaco and Ferrari is pushed back into the garage during day two of F1 End of Season Testing at Yas Marina Circuit on November 28, 2018 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by James Bearne/Getty Images)

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In general, it is also a dense and intense season for the mechanics. There is no rest. There are back-to-back races and there is also physical fatigue that must be taken into consideration. But that’s not an excuse.”

They will get some rest, though not for long, because Formula One returns again in two weeks’ time, at Istanbul Park for the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix.

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Riddhi Mondal

72 articles

Riddhi Mondal is an F1 Author at EssentiallySports. Having previously worked as a student reporter at The Statesman, she is an ardent follower of all things F1. A nerd through and through, the complicated physics that goes into the cars is what drew Riddhi to the sport.

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