Ferrari under criticism: Pardon the Mercedes strategists

Monaco GP 2022

Ferrari didn’t look good on paper. Before switching to Slicks, Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz were twice ahead. Then they took second and fourth place. Did Ferrari carelessly bet on a particular victory?

Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto was visibly nervous. Another race to be won against Red Bull. A race in which Ferrari was faster than Red Bull, as in Barcelona. Ferrari drivers can count on their cornering speed in the racetracks where maximum downforce is calculated. The maximum speed does not matter.


If you want to be world champion then you have to win your home games. In Barcelona, ​​technology played a trick on Ferrari. Charles Leclerc was denied his driving due to a turbocharger failure. Carlos Sainz lost 12 seconds in the gravel trap. In the end, the score was 44:12 points for Red Bull and the lead in the world championship with the Devil.


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Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto had to explain the mistakes after the Monaco Grand Prix failure.

Ferrari mistakes and errors

Ferrari planned the counterattack in Monte Carlo. Get off to a perfect start with the starting positions in the first starting row. In the race, the sun only shone for the competitor until lap 17. Then everything that could go wrong went wrong. Positions 1 and 2 became places 2 and 4. The big favorite Charles Leclerc fell from one end to the other. In six laps, he was 6.2 seconds ahead, 4.4 seconds ahead of new leader Sergio Perez. With Carlos Sainz and Max Verstappen in between.


Binotto refused to talk about bad luck and unfortunate circumstances. “We could have won with both drivers today and we made errors in our judgment and timing.” Binotto specifically noted the two tire changes at Leclerc. The first on the brokers came too late, the second on the spots too early. And later, like Sainz, you could have saved yourself the entire first change.


Early on psychics, late on spots

A situation arose on the drying track in Monte Carlo that happens very rarely. Dry the track quickly so you can switch directly from rain to slick tires without having to go through intermediate media. Binotto revealed: “We had that on screen. Hamilton practiced it in 2016 and won it.”


Some drivers only spent three laps on the mixed tyres. It doesn’t have to be a mistake. Depending on the standings in the race, you had better make extra stops or accept extra slow extra laps on the severe weather tires to save yourself from stalling.


It always depended on what gap you were going to fall into in traffic. If you have a slow driver ahead after you stop, you burn off all the benefits of better grip. The problem was that no one knew what move your opponent would make when faced with the same dilemma as you.


In principle, the whole arithmetic process turned out to be a golden rule: it was better to switch to intermediaries a little earlier, and then to spots a little later. why? Because the feedstock rose to temperature a little faster than the solid rubber stain compound. And because you can switch to the wet track with the medium if needed.


Perfect Changing Window for Perez

Red Bull did everything right with Sergio Perez. On turns 16 and 22 he got a perfect window for change. Ferrari did the worst with Leclerc on laps 18 and 21. Max Verstappen got into the pits at the same time as Leclerc to switch to Intermediaries, but like Perez with spots, he waited one lap longer.


The Sainz case is a good example of how much to rely on chance. Sainz was the only one in the leading group who was limited to a single hole. This would have been enough to win if two factors had not spoken against the Spaniard. Factors that Ferrari strategists could not anticipate. Perez had a clear path after switching to psychics because Lando Norris switched to the pit lane in front of him. And in front of Sainz half a lap in front of the beloved Nicholas Latifi.

Charles Leclerc - Formula 1 - Monaco GP 2022

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Charles Leclerc finished the race for the first time in Monaco. Fourth place was no consolation. Monaco saw himself on his way to victory.

Leclerc had to wait 3.5 seconds

The Mercedes command center has protected some of his Ferrari teammates: “When you’re in the lead, you don’t like to make the first move. You don’t want to give up your position on the track, especially in Monaco.” Red Bull was easier with Perez. He can only win. It has been used as a decoy for Ferrari. What Ferrari also did not predict is how opponents will react in the ever-changing conditions. Because everyone did the wrong thing in the sixth round. Since then, intermediate vehicles have been faster than rain tires. Pierre Gasly and Sebastian Vettel got the perfect time to switch, but got stuck in traffic as the others stubbornly lingered on their rain tires.


The biggest mistake, for sure, was calling Leclerc into the pits at the same time as Sainz. The distance between the two was so small that Leclerc had to wait for clearance. His lane time was 3.5 seconds longer than Sainz’s. As a result, the fastest in qualifying also lost his position to Verstappen, who was able to complete another lap on the intermediaries without any problems. With a time of 1:27.259, the world champion was noticeably faster than Leclerc on his first flight lap on hard rubber.


Binotto justified the action with a plan to undermine Red Bull, just as Red Bull did when it switched to a mediator with Perez. But the effect of the early stop was so strong on the eventual winner because Ferrari allowed two interactions.


The engineers at Ferrari’s pit pit noticed that the double-stop could not operate before it was completed. Leclerc was asked to stay on track. “I was already in the pit lane by then,” said the frustrated frustrated. His bitter insight: “We are working on the problem and we will learn from it.”


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