F1 2022: Image of Mattia Binotto pointing finger at Charles Leclerc exposes Ferrari’s ‘inept’ problems, Carlos Sainz

Ferrari is under pressure for not helping Charles Leclerc, and an awkward photo of the star driver with his team boss says it all.

One of its drivers may have won the British Grand Prix, but Ferrari’s team strategy is coming under increasing scrutiny as the championship race intensifies.

Carlos Sainz claimed his first F1 victory at Silverstone on Monday morning (AEST) in his 150th race.

While it was a creditable result for Sainz, the conversation immediately turned to the elephant in the room: how Ferrari had once again screwed up world championship contender Charles Leclerc’s race strategy.

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Sainz led the first half of the race, but Leclerc was hot on his heels and called over the team radio to overtake his teammate, arguing that he was holding him back and allowing Lewis Hamilton to catch up.

At the time Leclerc had better pace than Sainz but Ferrari denied his request to overtake his teammate.

It was a puzzling call that allowed Lewis Hamilton to catch up with the Ferrari duo when Leclerc could have built up a huge lead had he been let through.

Ferrari also opted not to face Leclerc during the safety car period at the end of the race in order to switch to soft tyres.

It proved costly as Leclerc was overtaken by Sergio Pérez and Lewis Hamilton, meaning he missed out on the podium and had to settle for fourth place.

Many commentators believed that Ferrari managed a possible 1-2 result and missed the opportunity to help Leclerc claim valuable points and catch up with Max Verstappen, who finished seventh with a damaged car, in the drivers’ championship.

Leclerc is currently third in the standings, 43 points behind Verstappen with Sergio Pérez in second place.

The Monagesque driver spoke on the team radio and was clearly frustrated when he returned to the garage.

After the race, television cameras caught Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto saying a few harsh words to Leclerc and wagging his finger at his star driver as if scolding him.

But Binotto later dismissed suggestions that the two were fighting, saying he actually congratulated Leclerc on a solid run.

“First, I knew he was disappointed and frustrated, which is understandable because he was clearly leading the race and was comfortable going very fast by the time the safety car came out,” said the Scuderia boss.

“And for him today was a great opportunity in terms of the championship because he was leading while Max had some problems.

“Then the safety car came out and he had a tough end to, let me say, (to) the race and he was definitely disappointed. So when I met him, I knew he was disappointed.

“But what I told him is that you did a fantastic race once again, because you did a fantastic first lap of the race fighting.

But F1 fans said seeing Binotto scolding Leclerc was not good.

Former F1 driver Johnny Herbert believes Ferrari not helping its No.1 driver is becoming a problem and contrasts with Red Bull, which has allowed Verstappen to overtake Perez several times this season.

“Their (Red Bull’s) strategy is sometimes a bit risky, but wow wow! They make some absolutely brilliant calls to allow their driver to cash in on the race win, which means you get the points.” Herbert said. Sky sports.

“That seems to be where Ferrari still has a long way to go. And it has been a bit of history for Ferrari to have made these mistakes, especially this season, but it has happened many times in the past.

“Even when I was looking at the side of the track with a couple of people, even they thought it was a crazy call.

“If it’s a racing fan who thinks it’s a crazy decision, how can they not see it themselves when they have all the information in the world right in front of them? They still make the same mistakes. That is the incredible thing and that is the strength of Red Bull and Mercedes.

“Somehow they need to regroup at Maranello, really work together and somehow have a proper idea for the race weekend so they don’t get into this situation.”

But some disagreed, arguing that Ferrari got its strategy right and that letting Leclerc pass Sainz, stealing a maiden victory, would have been even more disastrous.

F1 writer Hazel Southwell tweeted: “I honestly thought Ferrari did well today, demoralizing Carlos would have sabotaged the team’s result more, losing Charles on the podium was silly but it would look dumber if they also lost the victory. Sometimes you have to manage your own failure tendencies.”

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