Pit stop problems costing Ferrari “quite a lot of points” – Sainz

2021 United States Grand Prix

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Ferrari need to improve their pit stops, says Carlos Sainz Jnr, after another slow tyre change potentially cost him a better finish in the United States Grand Prix.

Sainz, who also suffered a slow stop at the previous round in Turkey, lost around three seconds during his second visit to the pits on Sunday. He believes that cost him the chance to beat Daniel Ricciardo in the race.

“The pit stop [was] unfortunate, again,” said Sainz. “We need to keep looking at it and we need to keep improving as a team because we are not happy with the situation.

“It’s been a few pit stops now that we have we have been struggling with. On my side, I think it’s the second consecutive and the third all season. So it’s quite a lot of points there that we are leaving on the table with these small problems.”

Sainz said it “would have been fairly easy with the undercut there on Ricciardo” without his slow stop. “But it is what it is.

“We need to keep working as a team to improve it. We need to keep digging at it because there are points there that maybe this year are not so important, but if we want to be fighting for championships in the future, this is the kind of things that we need to be becoming excellent at and that we are maybe still lacking a bit.”

Team principal Mattia Binotto said the team was investigating the cause of the slow tyre change. “We know something was wrong on the rear right-hand side,” he said. “We had some difficulties to remove the tyre from the car. As simple as that.

“Now why that happened is something we’ll go through with all the analysis. But that is what happened.”

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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23 comments on “Pit stop problems costing Ferrari “quite a lot of points” – Sainz”

  1. Mexico and Brazil should be Ferrari tracks, but Qatar and Saudi Arabia seem more like McLaren tracks. Given Ferrari’s engine upgrade, I would probably give them the edge right now to finish 3rd in the WCC. Ricciardo’s inconsistency is also not helping McLaren, otherwise, they’d be comfortably ahead.

    1. @mashiat
      I’d switch Brazil and Qatar around. Interlagos rewards power and efficient aero in sectors 1 & 3, while S2 is mostly about corners.
      Losail, on the other hand, has just one long straight, while the rest consists mostly of medium speed corners.

      It’s difficult seeing any track now particularly benefitting McLaren, because Ferrari have made a decent step on their ERS.
      Despite the fast corners in S1 and the long back straight in S2 at Austin, Ferrari were still 0.5 per lap, on average, faster than McLaren.

      1. @srga91 Brazil’s layout would make it fairly close, but the altitude swings it in Red Bull’s favour. Brazil was one of their most competitive weekends in 2018 and 2019 (different cars I know). As for Qatar, there’s a lot of medium speed corners, but that seems to be one of Mercedes’ strengths. Portimao, Budapest and Turkey all have plenty of medium speed corners, and those were Mercedes’ strongest three weekends all year. The heat in the desert may help Red Bull however, just like in Bahrain.

      2. @srga91 My apologies, I have confused this thread with another about Mercedes vs. Red Bull.

      3. @srga91 Similarly to Red Bull, McLaren’s straight-line speed advantage should be reined in with the altitude, while Ferrari should be significantly quicker through the low and medium speed corners. Qatar should be close, but the McLaren seems to do slightly better in warmer conditions and it is a track that also has a lot of fast corners.

        1. @mashiat
          I doubt the higher altitude of Interlagos will affect McLaren in a big way. It’s nowhere near as bad as Mexico and it didn’t seem to cost McLaren much time at the RB Ring this season, which is at a similar altitude.
          So far this season, Ferrari rarely struggled in warmer conditions. If anything, it’s been the other way around and they have struggled in cooler conditions, because it raises the risk of graining, which is particularly bad on the Ferrari.

  2. I think that is the reason Ferrari elected not to pit Leclerc at the end for fastest lap. Risk of a slow stop was too high and he would have lost position to Ricciardo.

  3. Wondering how certain commenters here will try to claim the slow stops are Sainz’s fault.

    1. @tflb why don’t you focus on the fact that Turkey, 1/3 bad pitstops was not a slow pit stop or ferrari’s fault. I guess Sainz wanted an unsafe release.

      1. @peartree Ah, there we go.

      2. @peartree You just ignore the part where Ferrari explained that their automated traffic light system malfunctioned, without which he would have got away well before the other car came along. Don’t let facts get in the way of prejudice, hey?

        1. @tflb prejudice? How? Where?
          Team makes excuses, he throws the team under the bus and you’re putting him on a pedestal.
          He is lucky his mistakes were not that costly. Sainz is the deluded one.

    2. @tflb At least we don’t have to wonder how certain commenters’ main concern is other commenters

      1. @balue ‘Main concern’ is a bit of a stretch. I just find it both amusing and irksome how you two manage to apply a negative twist to everything Sainz says and does.

    3. Wondering how certain commenters here will try to claim the slow stops are Sainz’s fault.

      Wondering why you posted that comment.
      I can only assume you were disappointed that nobody had blamed him, yet your answer was already typed, spell checked, and ready to be submitted.

      I must admit though that I have the same ‘pre-reaction’ when I read an article about Stroll ;)

      1. I just get irritated by the same two blaming him for everything… One of them duly bit the bait. In particular, one whose comments on anything are rarely coherent.

        And as for Stroll… I think he’s rather underrated actually!

        1. Interestingly I quite enjoy the predictable comments by most here.
          I typically read a comment first and already know who wrote it.
          (Maybe an idea for a new quiz, as we don’t seem to get Caption Competition back).

          1. That’s also an idea, or the opposite too: you see the name of the person replying, know he’s a hamilton fan and know he will defend him no matter what, or the opposite, you’re rarely wrong with stuff like this.

        2. I think so too about stroll, he’s not doing that bad alongside vettel, so either vettel isn’t half the driver he used to be or stroll is not that bad, or a mix.

  4. I don’t know why Sainz is blaming the team for errors when the it is trying hard to end the blame culture, and he himself has lost more points through his own blunders than what these slow pit stops have, but then Binotto did come out recently with how Sainz are making mistakes almost every weekend so maybe payback.

    1. @balue Well, what do you expect him to say? ‘Yeah slow pit stop but I don’t care’? You seem to hold the guy to standards that you wouldn’t hold others to…

      What do you expect him to do, blame himself for the slow stops even though they’ve been completely out of his control?

      (Also, I believe he was on record earlier in the season saying he was crashing too much, so he can blame himself sometimes)

  5. Well, many teams need to improve the pit stops, don’t they? Since that technical directive there’s been far more issues on pit stops.

  6. He’s not wrong but it isn’t the whole story because McLaren pit stops are frequently worse. I really wish they would work on them more because they have lost spots and potentially points because of botched stops.

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