Christian Danner has criticised Ferrari for their Silverstone performance, saying they once again showed “how not to do it if you want to win the World Championship.”
As he has on more than one occasion this season, Charles Leclerc was left scratching his head over his team’s strategy decisions.
Carlos Sainz took pole but, once Max Verstappen had picked up the damage that effectively ended his race, he soon found his team-mate Leclerc right behind him.
The Monégasque pleaded with his engineer over the team radio, asking for Ferrari to swap the two around but the team stood firm and insisted the Spaniard could speed up.
Once they were allowed to fight, Leclerc breezed past Sainz but was again undone by his own team later in the race. Following the Safety Car deployment, Ferrari were slow to react and did not call Leclerc in for a pit stop.
The man who had once led the World Championship was unable to fight for the race and would have to watch on as Sainz picked up his maiden win.
Danner, who started 36 races in his F1 career, blamed Ferrari for Leclerc’s failure to win and said the team made “two cardinal mistakes”.
“The first mistake was that they didn’t wave Leclerc past Sainz right away, but instead just kept telling Sainz during the race: ‘Drive a little faster and you’ll be fine somehow.’ That was the first disastrous decision,” he told Speedweek.com.
“Leclerc is the man who can get closer to Verstappen in the overall standings. Leclerc is the faster driver and the better driver. He is the only World Championship candidate Ferrari has. That should have been dealt with right away during the race.”
The second mistake Danner claims Ferrari made was failing to bring Leclerc in during the Safety Car period not once but twice.
“During the Safety Car period, they also made the wrong decision twice,” the 64-year-old said.
“Firstly, because they didn’t bring Leclerc in immediately and send him back out on track with fresh tyres. And secondly, because after the missed tyre change on lap one of the Safety Car, they didn’t bring him in on the second lap either.
“They almost wantonly deprived him of the points and the win. I’m happy for Carlos Sainz, but soberly speaking, Ferrari has once again shown here how not to do it if you want to win the World Championship.”
Verstappen’s seventh-place finish meant Leclerc did not lose further ground in the title fight but it did represent a failure to capitalise on a rare non-podium finish for the Dutchman.
As it stands, the reigning World Champion leads the battle on 181 with his team-mate Sergio Perez behind on 147. Leclerc is third on 138 points while his team-mate Sainz is fourth on 127.
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