Vettel blasts Ferrari strategy, but Binotto hits back


Sebastian Vettel said Ferrari's strategy in Sunday's 70th Anniversary GP "didn't make sense", but team boss Mattia BInotto pinned the driver's woes on his opening lap spin.

In the thick of the action at the start, Vettel got caught on the race's opening lap, spinning at the first corner and dropping to the back of the field.

The four-time world champion collected himself and was forced to play catch up, eventually moving up the order to re-enter the top ten.

But the timing of his pit stops thereafter only complicated the German's task who was left to battle traffic, a plight that clearly frustrated Vettel who questioned his team's calls when he radioed in to tell his strategist : "I will hang in there, but you know that you've messed up!"

"We spoke this morning that there's no point pitting, knowing that we will run into traffic, and that's exactly what we did," explained Vettel

"We went also on a hard tyre, which we then only had on for roughly 10 laps, probably not even that. So it didn't make any sense.

"I mean, why would you put the hard for 10 laps and then put the medium for 20 laps? I was running out of tyres towards the end. So we spoke about exactly that. I guess not the best work we could have done today.

"I tried to do something today, but the way I spun on the first lap didn't help.

"I don't know what happened, because I tried to keep myself out of trouble but I felt a hit. It must have been the kerb, and that made me lose grip and spin. It took me by surprise."

The mishap also took Binotto by surprise, the Scuderia boss responding to Vettel's criticism by saying that the latter's first lap blunder had cost him more than Ferrari's strategy calls.

"I honestly think there is little to say about strategies," Binotto told Sky Italia.

"We [were early] perhaps by a few laps with the call that made him lose the position to Raikkonen. However, we knew he would recover without losing time.

"It allowed Charles [Leclerc] to continue his comeback. Overall, it was the right choice for the team and we don't think we penalised Sebastian.

"He regained [the position] immediately on Kimi, he wouldn't have been able to do an overcut on Kvyat, because he was going as fast as he was at that time, and then he undercut Sainz.

"His race was compromised at the start, and I think that was the key, not the strategy chosen."

However, Binotto acknowledged Vettel's frustrations and on-track struggles.

"I don't think Sebastian has lost faith," Binotto added.

"He is going through a difficult time in qualifying and the last two races where he hasn't found confidence in the car. Here, he spun putting his wheels on the kerb, and his race was uphill."

Vettel's radio exchanges and Binotto's rebuttal is a clear indication of the German driver's growing pains at Ferrari.

The conjecture about whether the 33-year-old will actually finish the season has only just begun.

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