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THE Ferrari explained his decision to call Carlos Sainz to the pits instead of the race leader, Charles Leclercduring the last safety car at the British GP of formula 1. After an eventful race, where the Spaniard lost and regained the lead, the Scuderia found themselves wary of the threat posed by Lewis Hamilton after the pilot mercedes built a tire lead.
The team asked Sainz to cede the position to Leclerc after noting that it would have been crucial for both of them to stay ahead of Hamilton when he went to the pits. The seven-time champion came out in third place after stopping, but was slowly catching up with the Ferraris thanks to the advantage of his tires.
A safety car triggered with 14 laps remaining sparked a flurry of pit stops, but the team opted to keep race leader Leclerc out and only brought Sainz to a set of softs.
The moengasco radioed that it would be “difficult” to keep the pursuers with red compounds behind him, and that proved to be true. After losing the lead to Sainz on the straight Wellington after the race restarted, he was overtaken by Sergio Perez and Hamilton in the final moments.
Leclerc admitted after the race that it was “disappointing” to miss out on the victory, having seen his main rivals for the drivers’ title, Max verstappenplaced seventh due to bodywork damage.
Questioned by motorsport.com on why Ferrari stopped Sainz instead of Leclerc, the team principal, Mattia Binottosaid they were “too close to stop together”, and that Charles didn’t pit because he had newer tires and also because of his position on the track.
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W13, battles with Charles Leclerc, Ferrari F1-75
Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images
“There wasn’t enough space to stop both of them, because the second would lose time at the pit stop before returning to the track,” said Binotto. “Why then, when deciding to stop just one, did we choose Carlos? Because Charles got the position on the track.
“His tires were newer than Carlos’s. He had six or seven laps less. And Sainz, stopping and being second, would have protected him at least in the first two corners, where we knew restarting from hard would be a little more difficult. . That’s what we decided.”
“After that we expected more degradation from the soft tyres, so to give Charles maybe three or four difficult laps initially, but then recover later. However, the softs didn’t degrade as we expected.”
Binotto thought Ferrari’s decisions on race strategy were “the right and appropriate ones at every moment”, with the only potential mistake coming in the decision to keep Leclerc out rather than stop.
“If we had stopped, maybe the others might not have done that. So both would have been left behind on soft tires and other riders ahead of them,” he reiterated. “Would we have regained positions? I’m not sure. I think in hindsight it’s always easy to say we could have done it differently.”
“Once again we had a safety car at the wrong time, where we were comfortably leading the race.”
Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, in Parc Ferme
Photo by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images
Binotto and Leclerc were seen talking more assertively immediately after the race at Silverstone, but the Ferrari boss said he was just trying to comfort his driver after he “once again had no luck”.
“First, I knew he was disappointed and frustrated, which is understandable because he clearly led the race and was comfortable, going very fast by the time the safety car went off. For him, today was a great opportunity in terms of racing. championship because I was ahead while Max had some problems.”
“Then the safety car showed up. He had a hard time at the end of the race and he was undoubtedly disappointed. What I told him is that he had had a fantastic race once again. After the restart behind the safety car again, the way he piloted and secured the position was amazing and excellent.”
“I just told him to stay calm because the way he drove was fantastic. He was unlucky again today because a safety car when you’re leading a few laps from the end is bad luck. I think overall, That’s why we try not to be too disappointed.”
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