If Charles Leclerc took charge of himself, and oh how much, for his fault at the French Grand Prix, Ferrari’s ills are of course wider and concern, more than the drivers, the team itself.
Failed strategy with Carlos Sainz, improvable communication, another power unit problem with Guanyu Zhou’s Alfa Romeo… the Scuderia has experienced failure after failure, at least on Sunday in France.
Nico Rosberg also has more Ferrari in his sights than Charles Leclerc, as he expressed to Sky after the race.
“I really think it was premature for Leclerc to take responsibility for the accident. »
“Because it’s very unusual for that to happen, because you’re not even pushing as hard as you can, you’re saving the tires. »
“For the back to start moving like that… that’s exactly when the tailwind comes, and if you have an unfortunate gust or something like that, it can suddenly take 20% of your downforce at that point. »
Rosberg suspects that the Ferrari driver is not at issue – why not the engine or even the pedal, although Mattia Binotto has strongly denied this?
“And also, what happened to the engine or even the pedal? All it takes is a small cut or something that the back can come out of. »
“I really think they need to take the time to look at it because I still can’t believe it was pilot error.”
“It also seemed a little strange to me, and is that where Charles was complaining about not being able to get on the gas because of the pedal? I’m not sure what happened. »
The other fault in Sunday’s race for Ferrari was Carlos Sainz’s strategy. The Spaniard stopped 5 or 10 laps too late in the middle (but did he really have to stop when he was 3rd?). In addition, his team discussed strategy with him amid an intense battle with Sergio Perez’s Red Bull.
So Rosberg eliminates Ferrari.
“I was shaking my head seeing Ferrari’s strategy for Sainz. What the hell are they doing there? First of all, he was in the middle of a big battle on the track and his whole team wasn’t looking at it anymore, they were doing their calculations on pit stop time. They talked to him like he was in the middle of the action. I thought, what are you guys doing?”
“Then the tires would have been good until the end. He even had a chance to have Lewis for second place. »
“What’s going on here?”
“Really, I think it’s time for some changes, some serious changes. »
“Terrible, terrible judgment there. I can’t explain it. Mattia [Binotto, le patron de l’équipe] you really need to face this and make some serious changes, now is the time. »
Nico Rosberg believes, however, that Charles Leclerc, thanks to the intrinsic top speed of his single-seater, still has little chance of catching up with Max Verstappen, even if that gap amounts to 63 points…
“The only thing is, let’s not forget, that Ferrari seems to have the best car at the moment. »
“This can give us hope that Leclerc can still return to the championship in the remaining races. It is still to be played. »
According to Nico Rosberg, Mercedes gets angry
Although not quite there yet, Mercedes have taken another step forward at Paul Ricard (at least in the race), with the first double podium of the season for George Russell and Lewis Hamilton.
The former local, Nico Rosberg, has enjoyed seeing his team back after qualifying especially, which had, on the other hand, been a downright disappointment in pure performance.
“What an incredible comeback for Mercedes after the slap in qualifying, no one could have foreseen a double podium and also with the pace they showed. »
“They were close to the pace of Ferrari and Red Bull. It was really a big positive for Mercedes. »
For Nico Rosberg, Mercedes’ priority now must be to work on qualifying.
“It looks like maybe that qualifying pace is the big, big problem they have to deal with. They confirmed in the race that they’ve made progress, so today is a big positive for them.”
“If they continue to have such bad Saturdays, it will be difficult for them to progress enough to really fight for the win. So it all boils down to that. »
“A Formula 1 team like Mercedes always works very, very hard. Sometimes it’s hard for me to imagine how they can work even harder, because everything has a limit. »
For Nico Rosberg, no doubt, what his former teammate Lewis Hamilton knows: the Briton is still over-motivated to face this second half of the season, even if the victories will not be there.
“They stay super, super motivated and a race like Sunday also gives them energy because it gives them hope after a darker day like Saturday. »
“It gives them hope that maybe they can still win this year and fight for some wins at the end of the season, hopefully as well, you know.”
“That hope is spurring you on again and that’s where Mercedes is at the moment. »