Ferrari explain why they weren’t ready for Sainz’s first pit stop at Zandvoort

2022 Dutch Grand Prix

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Ferrari strategy director Inaki Rueda has explained why the team didn’t have all four wheels ready for Carlos Sainz Jnr when he made his first pit stop during the Dutch Grand Prix.

Sainz started third but finished the race in eighth place after a five-second time penalty for an unsafe release from his pit box during his final stop. However his first visit to the pits on lap 14 proved even more costly, as he lost over 10 seconds while waiting for his left-rear wheel to arrive.

Rueda revealed what went wrong in a video published by Ferrari. “The first round of pit stops came quite early,” he explained. “People started stopping at around lap 10, 12, 13, 14. This gave us a window of opportunity to pit into.

“With Carlos we were under threat, we had two Mercedes and one Red Bull that could potentially undercut Carlos. An undercut at that point of the race would have meant that Carlos gave the position to them. Carlos’s pit stop came later than usual because we reacted to Perez’s call.

“The pit stop call usually has two factors: one is the call from us to the driver and the other one is our call to our crew. The call to the driver in this case came at the right time, Carlos had no problem coming into the box, he knew he was coming in, he had enough time to make the pit lane.

“The call to the pit crew usually comes around 23 or 24 seconds, but in this case because we were reacting to Perez it came later. We only gave our pit crew 17 seconds to react.”

Rather than signal to the crew to prepare for the pit stop as Sainz exited the turn 12 hairpin, the call instead came as he entered the final two corners of the lap.

“Our pit crew need this time to come out into the location and be ready when the driver comes. We have our gunmen, the tyre removers come out and the tyre fitters come crucially through the pit stop area,” Rueda explained.

The entire crew wasn’t able to make it to the left-hand side of Sainz’s car in time to being the stop.

“case Carlos came in a bit earlier than usual. The front-left tyre fitter managed to squeeze in between the front wing and the front jack, but the rear-left tyre fitter did not manage to get by.

“To make matters worse, at Zandvoort we have a very narrow pit lane and this meant that the rear-left tyre fitter had to go around the whole pit crew to make it eventually to his corner. That’s why you saw that all the three other corners had finished before we had a rear-left tyre to be fitted on the car.”

The stop dropped Sainz from third to 11th, while Perez’s clean stop only moved him down to eighth and he was able to rise back up to third before his second stop. Sainz progressed back up to fifth during the second stint of the race, which he completed on the medium compound tyre.

“We thought it was a strong tyre, and we were gearing up to do a two-stop from then on,” Rueda said. “We realised that the Mercedes on the medium from the start had considerably more pace than we expected. This meant that now they were in contention for a one-stop and a very competitive one-stop at that.

“Our second stops were done with the Mercedes doing a one-stop in mind, so we wanted to try and come back at Hamilton and Russell with as much pace delta as possible to overtake, because them doing one stop less meant we would have to overtake them on track.”

Both Mercedes drivers ended up pitting twice at the end of a late safety car period, and they were able to maintain track position over Sainz who had risen to fifth, before his unsafe release penalty.

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2022 Dutch Grand Prix

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Author information

Ida Wood
Often found in junior single-seater paddocks around Europe doing journalism and television commentary, or dabbling in teaching Photography back in the UK. Currently based...

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16 comments on “Ferrari explain why they weren’t ready for Sainz’s first pit stop at Zandvoort”

  1. “Ferrari explain why they weren’t ready…..”

    They didn’t “explain”, more a case of admitting there was no sensible explanation. It seems they are saying that they didn’t tell the crew in time that they were pitting Sainz, the crew were presumably still sitting watching the race on TV instead of having hands on tyres ready to move the instant a late call came in, and it sounds like they don’t prioritise the job of getting the left tyres out first. That’s not so much an explanation as more of an admission that the team as a whole just wasn’t good enough.

    1. this would e a proper explanation if no tyres/mechanics were ready. But out of 16 mechanics, one didnt came up. If this “explanation” were valid, SAI would stilll be there waiting for all tyres.

  2. The explanation was as bad as the pitstop.

  3. A sensible call would be to have them get ready anyway, then tell them to sit down again if the last minute decision goes the other way… but don’t forget Ferrari don’t make mistakes!

    1. A sensible call would be to have them get ready anyway

      Especially when you start your explanation with “People started stopping at around lap 10, 12, 13, 14.”

      And I assume the other nine teams have a pit stop procedure in which they ready the crew in 2 steps: step 1 is to don the helmet/gear and be prepared to fetch the tyres; step 2 get the actual tyres and take them to the pit stop area.
      Step 1 should have been done even without knowing that Perez would pit, and knowing that there could be an ‘undercut’.

    2. Yeah, we’ve seen it often enough where teams prepare, come out into the pitlane and only decide on actually stopping in reaction to the guy ahead stopping or not @eurobrun.

      This might be an explanation what exactly happened, it doesn’t mean it’s a good reason why to make this mess of it.

  4. There is no explanation offered. Just mumble jumble of words. If 3 wheels were ready for installation and one wasn’t, they are just attempting to justify the inexcusable. I hate having to agree with Nico Rosberg, but there are F3 Teams with higher level of professionalism than Ferrari F1. Clowns in their red outfits.

  5. I feel for them, I am sure they are doing their best. You should probably ask one of the mechanics to get a straighter answer. There must be going something on there that we dont know about.

  6. This is not an explanation; it would be more believable had they said that the fourth tyre guy was busy bringing a message from Hannah to the Alpha Tauri team.

  7. This isn’t an explanation. 3 tyres were ready. 1 wasn’t. Human error.

    If normally you do things in 24 seconds, you should have tried on Thursday if it is possible to do in same time given narrow pit lane. How much warning do other teams give? some times it seems red bull pit crew have no more than 12-15 seconds. They are just constantly having one set of people holding the new tyres and these people just go out and are in position in just 5-10 seconds.

  8. I came here to entertain myself with the explanation of yet another oopsie, but now I am depressed instead.
    This “explanation” is even worse, borderline pathetic.

  9. Uhh guys.. They said that they gave the call to the crew too late… That was the case and more precisely one guy was too late for that as the others were able to do it in time.

  10. Italians buffons are the most entertaining!

  11. Still a pit crew mistake. The right front team knows that they have to let the outside teams pass first.

  12. It is the spaniards not the italians that seem to be the problem at ferrari.

  13. The only explanation I could come up with was “if you gotta go you gotta go”. But this seems far more plausible. Thanks for clearing that up, Ferrari.

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