Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Silverstone, 2022

Double stacking fears behind call not to pit Leclerc, says Binotto

2022 British Grand Prix

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Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto says fears of losing time double stacking in the pits led them to tell Charles Leclerc to stay out under Safety Car in the British Grand Prix.

Carlos Sainz Jnr won the race at Silverstone after Charles Leclerc was told to stay out under a late Safety Car while leading, which left him vulnerable to his team mate who pitted for fresh soft tyres. Sainz overtook his team mate when the race restarted and went on to win, while Leclerc dropped to fourth by the chequered flag.

Leclerc and Binotto were seen having an intense conversation about the call in parc ferme after the race. Binotto explained Ferrari were unhappy that Alpine did not tell Esteban Ocon to stop his car earlier on the circuit before he pulled off at Copse corner, prompting the Safety Car.

“It’s obviously disappointing for Charles, the Safety Car at the end with Ocon stopping in the middle of the track – I think he could have stopped somewhere else, because there was time to stop somewhere else,” said Binotto.

Ferrari were concerned about losing time double stacking both cars in the pit lane, Binotto explained, which led them to tell Leclerc to stay out and retain track position with the lead.

“Why did we decide to stop Carlos? Because Charles got track position – he was leading, so he would have remained the leader of the race,” said Binotto.

“Here what happened is our two cars – in our view, certainly – were too close to stop both of them, so we had to take a decision.

“We were the only ones out there having the two cars fighting for the good positions. The other teams got only one car, so certainly the decisions are a lot easier. In our case, we got the two cars and we saw that there was not sufficient gap to stop both of them, because the second would have lost time at the pit stop and would have fallen back on track.”

The choice of pitting Sainz over Leclerc was driven, in part, by concerns over the lifespan of the soft tyres, Binotto said.

“Because his tyres were fresher compared to the ones of Carlos – he had, I think, six or seven laps less than the ones of Carlos in a better shape. And Carlos, by stopping in second, he would have been protecting us in the first couple of corners where we know that restarting on the hards would have been even more difficult. So that was the reason why we decided.

“Then we were hoping for more tyre degradation on the softs to give Charles, yes, maybe a difficult three or four laps initially, but then recovering later on but the softs didn’t degrade as we were hoping.”

Prior to the Safety Car restart with ten laps remaining, Sainz resisted calls from Ferrari to build a buffer of ten car lengths to Leclerc – the maximum distance allowed under the regulations – to allow his team mate space for the restart. Sainz refused due to fears he would be left under pressure from Lewis Hamilton behind and kept close to the rear of Leclerc, eventually passing him for the lead down the Wellington Straight.

Asked if he was upset by Sainz refusing to build a gap to his team mate, Binotto said he understood Sainz’s concerns and had no problem with his driver’s actions.

“Not only is it okay, I’m very happy with the way that Carlos behaved today,” Binotto explained.

“Because, for example, when we asked him to swap positions as before, he did it immediately with no discussion. And when we told him to give a rest to Charles after the Safety Car restart, what he said is not that he didn’t want to do it – he didn’t want to do it – he said ‘the guys behind me would be very aggressive, so I need to protect and somehow try to react, so leave it to me’.

“So I think he understood properly what was the intention. I think not only he understood, but he’s very good in the way that he’s acting and I’m very happy with this.”

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Will Wood
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70 comments on “Double stacking fears behind call not to pit Leclerc, says Binotto”

  1. Charlie Payne
    3rd July 2022, 19:40

    It’s very concerning Ferraris lack of strategic capability.

    It should be very simple, we have one driver who is currently first in the race, in a great position to get lots of points and close a good gap on the world championship, so that driver takes priority. Anything short of that is indefensible!

    1. It is very concerning that Binnoto seems to have watched a different race we all saw.

    2. Agreed. If you had to double stack them, worst case your guy fighting for the title doesn’t lose any time or track position and gains crucial point on Max. If Sainz lost position to Hamilton he still probably would’ve passed him again on pace.

      1. I’d agree that, if Ferrari did have the opportunity to call both drivers in and double stack them and didn’t do so, it feels like a case of Ferrari having a very poor grasp of the wider situation. For both the WDC and WCC battles, with Verstappen out of the picture, they should have been looking at how to minimise any points that Perez could take off of them and how to maximise their overall points haul.

        They could have afforded to double stack their cars when it comes to Perez, since he was a lot further back on track, so the only driver they needed to worry about losing position to would be Hamilton.

        As you note, the worst case scenario would be that double stacking their drivers would cost Sainz a position to Hamilton, but removing the tyre performance difference by putting Leclerc on soft tyres would give Leclerc a better chance of defending his position against Hamilton, as well as giving greater protection against Perez (because you know that Red Bull are going to take that gamble given they have nothing to lose and everything to gain in those circumstances).

        Even if Hamilton did end up passing Leclerc for victory, that’s still a pretty favourable situation for Ferrari overall. Leclerc could still have scored 18 points for 2nd, whilst having Sainz in 3rd would take points away from Perez and increase the relative gain to Verstappen in the WDC. Meanwhile, given where Hamilton is in the WDC right now, if you have to give away points to another driver, it’s going to cost you a lot less if Hamilton takes those points rather than Perez – Leclerc could have been 3 points ahead of Perez in the WDC, rather than now being 9 points behind Perez.

        It also doesn’t make sense from the WCC perspective either. Even if Hamilton did end up winning and Ferrari slipped to a 2-3 finish, Ferrari would still extend their WCC lead over Mercedes by 8 points, whilst keeping Perez behind in 4th would see Ferrari make a larger gain on Red Bull as well – and it goes without saying that Leclerc could stay ahead and secure a 1-3 finish, then the situation only gets better still.

        By focussing too much on the short term goal of winning this race, rather than the longer term goal of maximising the WDC and WCC chances, they over-defended themselves against Hamilton when they didn’t really need to do so, whilst simultaneously making Leclerc more vulnerable against Perez when they should have been defending themselves against him.

        1. Everything you mentioned makes a lot of sense.

          The problem with Ferrari is that they just don’t have the experience of a championship winning team… they don’t have a pre race strategy in place, they don’t have a plan to back their championship contender and they’re afraid to take make importance decisions in the spur of the moment due to their cowardice.

          It’s crazy how fans looked at the extra pitstop for Charles in Monaco, the decision to put Sainz on the wrong tyre in Canada and the decision not to pit Leclerc at the British GP, and instantly realised that Ferrari made a mistake. They might call us arm chair experts, but we’re a heck of a lot more capable than anyone in Ferrari’s strategy department.

        2. @anon, best summary ever.
          But the main problem with Ferrari IMHO is their cult mentality. In this race, just as in Monaco it was obvious to anyone (except Ferrari’s “strategists” of course) what should be done, but their is no accountability for it. Instead Binotto finger wags in Leclerc face not to say a critical word (for me the saddest part was watching defeated Leclerc squirming around while he way lying that perhaps he didn’t realize everything that happened from the car), and then, Binotto comes in public with such childish stories like this. Sainz was 3-4 sec behind Lec in racing speed, and they were afraid that they would be too close in SC conditions for double stacking?! (Unlike in Monaco!?!?)
          And he also says that he’s happy have Carlos behave.. “swaped positions immediately with no discussion” -after 10 laps of “You have drive this laps time” -“Oh, I’ll do that time after i recharge my battery (and then back to my slow times), and disregarding team orders. (Also, after Carlos over took Leclerc Ferrari should have asked him to hang back, give Lec DRS and perhaps lead him out of danger while Ham-Per-Alo battle along).
          The result of all this is that both drivers now know that if they want a good result the have to make their own strategies as the drive along and that team orders are optional if you’re able to counter it with the reply that will confuse strategists. Lec & Sai are going to start tripping over each other every time Sainz gets on pace of Leclerc and I’m sure we will have a repeat of Lec-Vet Brazil incident by the end of the year.

        3. The problem is that you’re acting as if Sainz was 100 points behind Leclerc.
          He was 24 points behind.

          1. He’s been slower in every race weekend so far. Do you think he’s going to suddenly find the talent to be a championship contender?

      2. If they had let Leclerc through earlier in the race he would have built up enough of a gap to make the double-stack possible and led to a probable 1-2 (though Sainz made every effort to bodge his race yesterday). As has been said, pitting both cars would have been a 1-3 at worst. terrible strategic call – we’ve had many many races where being on the fresh rubber is a massive advantage, especially at a track where you can pass.

        1. @frood19 – I think this is a hypothetical too far. What I mean is that if he had built up a large lead, he may have been past the decision point when the SC was called. Or maybe it would have been similar to what actually happened (not a huge margin). I think the point is, that regardless of whether you think the prior decisions were good, bad, or a wash, the decision to not pit Leclerc was yet another example of Ferrari hanging Leclerc out and losing him points. This is across multiple seasons at this point.

          1. @hobo I hadn’t thought of that, but I still think they had a reasonable amount of time from when the safety car was confirmed to when leclerc passed the pit entry so if he was 10 seconds further up the road (not implausible) then they could have easily double-stacked, even with slow pitstops.

    3. Indeed. The worst case scenario was losing P2 for HAM and make sure they’d have both cars on the podium.

    4. I agree and would add if Ferrari want a chance to win the driver’s championship they need to choose their leading #1 driver otherwise they’ll have no chance. They simply can’t afford to let both of them fight each other.

    5. Painter Guy
      5th July 2022, 6:27

      This isn’t down to their lack of strategic capability. They know precisely what they are doing, which is sabotaging LeClerc. Binotto has already stated that winning the championship is not part of the plan. Quite what the ‘plan’ is, no sane person can know, but when your boss has publicly announced that he doesn’t want you to win, you’re not going to win, simple as.

  2. Ferrari made a wrong decision again.
    They had more than enough time for a double stack.

    1. And even if they did not, everyone knows that leaving a driver on cold, old and hard tyres puts him at a big disadvantage. So the obvious choice is to pit the leading driver. Not just in the race, but the championship as well.

      If Binotto refuses to accept that Ferrari’s numerous strategic and tactical blunders gave away a 1-2 finish, there is no chance of them winning a title. Leclerc finished behind Perez… that says it all. And Leclerc knows it is 100% the fault of Ferrari. He should be commended for his mature reaction, but he’ll understand Alonso and Vettel a bit better after this race.

  3. a) then single stack Leclerc only (higher in WDC and the faster driver on the day)
    b) do what Merc taught you and slow down the second car to create a gap (if that’s still allowed).

    1. That second thing is allowed, although I do think you have to be carefull not to drive too slow, but it would have helped create a bit of a larger gap.

    2. +1. At least they are on the headlines and imagine if Red Bull would have done the same with Max

    3. Exactly. It this weekend proves anything, it is how bad Binotto is as a team leader. They have a 4.8 second gap between both their cars when the safety car message was sent out. They could have asked Carlos to go 1 second slower than the delta and could have done an easy double stack. Instead they took donkey’s route and didn’t pit their lead car, and championship contender, and instead favoured the slow an inconsistent #2 driver.

      Binotto is not team principal material.. They need to replace him with someone capable and send him back to lead the engineering department.

    4. @jff, they had plenty of time to double stack. It’s just that Binotto and team are spending more time coming up with the stories why their strategic blunders were actually the right decisions then actually thinking of strategy.
      There was another interview with Binotto in which he states that “all their call were right except, perhaps not to pit Lec, but they didn’t pit him because Lewis then wouldn’t pit, and that that was the right call”
      -probably enough people pointed out that if that happened Lewis would be easy-pickings for Lec, and even if not, we would get 18 points while Per was behind.

      Now he’s selling a storie: “Why did we decide to stop Carlos? Because Charles got track position – he was leading, so he would have remained the leader of the race,”
      Probably hopping that everybody forgot that Carlos was in 2nd, and that if Charles pitted, Carlos would inherent 1st position…
      If appears like Ferrari doesn’t want to win WDC (which is nothing new), but this year, they act like they don’t want to win WCC championship either. Mind boggling.

  4. They had a gap to do it with Sainz only losing position to Hamilton, with 10 laps to attempt an overtake.
    They were afraid of what? No excuses, the incompetence behind this team is beyond words.

    Give that car to every other team and they would be making better use of it.

    1. The only somewhat valid concern – which is something that Binotto didn’t mention here so maybe wasn’t considered – was that pitting both Ferrari’s would mean Hamilton could stay out on relatively fresh hards and take track position. But I’m fairly certain the Ferrari’s on new softs would have made short work of him. They should have known the softs would hold up for that stint since other teams had drivers running 20 lap stints on them at the start of the race (Ocon). They are lucky Leclerc managed to hold on for fourth in the end and didn’t get eaten up by the likes of Alonso and Norris.

      1. I’ve also thought about this but given the difficulty of the Mercs to fire up their tyres, I really doubt they would have stayed out! Even with the fresh soft, it took Lewis 1 lap to fire it up, by which time he had already lost 3rd to Perez.
        Had he not pitted, there was a high chance Lewis could have ended up 5th behind Alonso!

  5. Yeah Binoto, keep telling this to yourself to sleep good at night.
    The loss to the race with Leclerc 4th is huge in comparison to a delayed double stack but the driver would had fresh soft to attack anyone after.
    In my mind Ferrari has an ego to prove that Sainz is equally good to Leclerc that they don’t care even if they loose everything again and i don’t get why?

    1. @bluechris

      I think there’s definitely a fractured relationship between Charles and Mattia. The finger in face moment after the race just proved it that they don’t share a good relationship. Leclerc is probably the best thing that has happened to Ferrari since the post Alonso era, and they’er going to lose him in a season or two to Mercedes if they don’t get their act together.

      1. @todfod – I was going to say something similar, that Leclerc needs to be looking elsewhere, but the problem is that Ferrari have the second best car and the team with the current best car won’t take him (RBH). If Merc re-ups its game, and gets back into the fight, they definitely need to make a move for Leclerc.

  6. And i must add to what i said above that they also destroy the psychology of their good driver who is Leclerc because it’s their fault for his dnf’s this year and now we have this.
    They are incredible l.

  7. Mmmmm…. yeah…. that may work with a capable and obeying 2nd driver…. definately not with SAI! He obviously does not want to play 2nd to anybody although he’s barely a race winner, by no means a WDC contender.

    1. Not trying to excuse them, but if it’s true what Binotto says, I’m afraid they’re too nice for their own good. They did not want to compromise SAI’s race by pitting LEC too, but they were obviously naive thinking SAI is willing and capable to play 2nd to LEC, and protect their positions.

  8. Thats three – possibly 4 wins – Leclerc has lost this season to Ferrari strategy errors or reliability. Max should send a thank you card to Binotto if he wins another title.

  9. You fear double stacking? Then call in the leader first! What’s there to decide? Instead they lose precious 15 points.
    They screwed Leclerc so many times this year. Unbelievable.

  10. Ok I gave them too much credit then by suggesting they did it because they thought Hamilton may stay out.. Instead, they didn’t want to lose a second in the pits so decided to throw away a bunch of positions instead on track. Awesome work Ferrari.

    1. I feel calling Binotto an idiot, is probably paying him a compliment right now. It’s got to be the 2nd stupidest strategic decision I’ve seen in a while. The stupidest being their decision in Monaco to pit Leclerc.

  11. Ferrari’s crime today was trying to treat their drivers as fairly as possible. Commendable in wanting to keep the drivers happy and on equal terms but they will lose the title because of it. Red Bull have no such problems as Perez is a clear number 2.

  12. What’s more concerning than the clowns in the pitwall is that Bin8 is arguing about the decision to leave Leclerc exposed with the SC (not a VSC) neutralizing the field and the fact that the hard tyres took 2 laps to be in the optimum operating window and start delivering. This was obvious with Leclerc, Sainz, Hamilton, Perez and Verstappen. So Leclerc was going to be a sitting duck in the first couple of laps and then he would still be slower to overtake the guys in front of him.

    Double stacking would have cost Ferrari – in worst case scenario – the second place to Hamilton and they would have finished 1st and 3rd with Leclerc taking a big chunk of Verstappen’s lead. Instead they finished 1st and 4th and failing to punish RBR for their bad race and with their lead driver furious and low as he has ever been.

    Besides Ferrari could have stopped Leclerc a lap later when they saw everyone was on soft changing both his tyres and front wing. He would have been 3rd anyway at the restart but with a real chance of getting both Sainz and Hamilton on the track.

    I feel the team is biased towards Carlos for no reason. Carlos winning a race is important but punishing RBR’s bad race in both the WDC and WCC is more important. Sainz is not capable of performing under pressure and cannot extract those extra tenths from the car. Today a couple of laps with Max pressuring him were sufficient for him to make a silly mistake. He argued that Verstappen was pushing him to push. I don’t understand what he is supposed to do tbh as a racing driver. Leclerc was faster than him with a broken front wing and was able to open a 5s gap before the SC period.

    If Ferrari are serious about challenging RBR then they must realize that Leclerc is the real deal. I believe the problem is that Ferrari high-ups think that the overhyped Sainz is a match for Leclerc. Unbelievable !

    1. I really don’t see that bias towards Sainz you see. Sure, they might be willing to give him a chance. But I think the bigger issue is just that they have shown time and again, that they aren’t really able to 1. have a good, or at least solid, strategy for both cars when they are at the front, and 2. actually they seem to be slow to decide, afraid to take a bit of a gamble and often just plainly miss opportunities that were there for the taking.

    2. Exactly, I was wondering that – did the cars stack behind SC so quickly that Charles would lose many track positions pitting on 2nd SC lap ? I think Perez was too far behind at this point so it would be Carlos, Ham and Leclerc all on softs for the restart.

    3. I’m not sure if they are pro-Sainz but they certainly seem ready to not be pro-Leclerc—which ends up with the same results. When Leclerc joined, they prioritized Vettel race after race despite Leclerc having better performance. Now, with Leclerc having more Ferrari time under his belt, the team seems to defer to 50-50 at best. I don’t know if they learned the wrong lesson (don’t have a #1) or what. But they have consistently lost Leclerc points for multiple seasons with their stupid decisions.

  13. It’s a simple case of them clearly screwing up by not reacting quickly enough via forethought, and Binotto subsequently making up an excuse aiming to make it look like their screw up might have been an intentional premeditated strategy.

    Designing the fastest F1 car is almost infinitely difficult, but not throwing away 4 Leclerc wins with poor strategy is pretty straightforward. They need to focus on strategy and reliability far more.

  14. Leclerc probably already lost any faith he had in these guys. He’s just wasting his time there. He should put his head out and look for alternatives. It’s insulting that he only won 4 races with them, having lost close to ouble that to reliability or stupidity.

    1. I think Mercedes will develop their car better over the course of the year as compared to Ferrari. By the end of this season, they will probably be at par if not ahead in terms of performance as compared to Ferrari.

      By next season, it will be back to Mercedes and Red Bull at the front, and we’ll see a frustrated Leclerc leave Ferrari and join Mercedes as Hamilton’s replacement.

      Ferrari is not the place for top notch drivers who want to win championships. It’s a place to pick up a couple of race wins and then leave for a proper F1 team;

      1. The only hope for Leclerc is moving to Mercedes. I really hope it will be available option for him. It would be a real shame to waste such a driver, which ferrari obviously will keep doing.

  15. Still a blunder & BTW, Ocon couldn’t really have stopped anywhere else, or even if he did, SC would’ve been the outcome anyway as either JCB would’ve been required on trackside or marshals.
    He didn’t stop where he did in a purposeful attempt to influence race outcome.

    1. Ocon stopping somewhere else was a stupid excuse.
      But the one thing he was right about is that the soft tyres might not have made it to the end. But we will never know as the RD ‘solved’ that by keeping the SC on track way too long; Ocon’s car was already off track when the SC was still ‘collecting’ cars, before going through the unlapping sequence and then holding up the racing for another lap.

    2. @jerejj Ocon could have stopped somewhere else… …if the car had broken 5 seconds earlier. However, this is not what happened and it doesn’t work as an excuse. It’s not like he could have parked it in an empty field.

      1. @alianora-la-canta
        Indeed, but unfortunately, because his issue didn’t appear sooner, a full SC neutralization was a given outcome anyway, as the other alternatives left would’ve equally required either JCB or marshals on track.

        1. @jerejj Exactly!

  16. without the disastrous strategy call we would not have had the excellent wheel to wheel racing from Leclerc with Sainz, Perez, Hamilton and Alonso. If he had pitted, it would have been FL after FL

    1. yep. They chose to pit the driver that even with a clear track ahead couldn’t pull away of all the mess behind him and still lost the FL point.

      So many things had to happen for Sainz to win this race. He definitely looked like he is lacking badly next to Charles, Max and Hamilton in regards to pace.

  17. Mark in Florida
    3rd July 2022, 21:38

    Mattias logic is no logic at all. Its a ridiculous excuse for their incredible blunders in this race. Fear of double stacking? Have you never done this before? Are you uncertain as to how it works? Where is Arrivebene at, is he available for a job? He looks like a genius compared to this Harry Potter parading as a team principal. I’m so frustrated this year. They have produced a winning car and have a great driver in Charles but they refuse to prioritize his strategy week after week. Carlos is a upper mid tier driver, good but not great. So therefore he is really a number two driver compared to Charles. Need proof? Charles had a damaged car and was faster than Carlos. Why Ferrari keeps sabotaging Charles I don’t know. Maybe its endemic incompetence. The head of Ferrari should fire Mattia. Changing right now won’t hurt anything they have already lost the plot and the season.

    1. Carlos is a upper mid tier driver, good but not great.

      You’re being generous with him. This year, he isn’t even as good as a lower midfield driver. The only drivers he’s been better than this season are the billionaire backmarkers, Schumacher and Ricciardo.

  18. Excuses excuses and more excuses. You pit the lead driver. Second driver loses time? Tough. Another tactical masterclass from Binotto and co.

  19. Had Ferrari double stacked they would have still finished 1st and 4th, but Leclerc would have recovered an extra 13 points on Verstappen.

  20. Yes (@come-on-kubica)
    4th July 2022, 1:36

    4 possibly 5 wins ferrari have cost leclerc this season with reliability and awful strategy. If I was leclerc, I’m being absolutely raging. Sainz was barely infromt of leclerc even with leclercs broken wing. Leclerc needs to take this team and strategists at the scruff of their necks

  21. No time to double stack, then only pit the second driver in the race… which coincidentally doesn’t have any chance of winning the WDC. Just like in Monaco. A farce of a strategy team.

  22. I think it would have been more honest for Binotto to just admit that with hindsight, the team had made a mistake. I understand that part of their approach is that they wish to be seen as being fair to both drivers but this is not the best way to win championships.

    I think part of this is that they are short of experience of being in this position. They need to be more ruthless and make better strategy calls more quickly. They have a very competitive car this year and a potential WDC in Charles but they are failing in taking full advantage of this.

    1. yeah. Red bull would never hestitate like this. They wouldn’t waste so much time and made such a blunder of decisions. That’s crucial. Ferrari has to play the same game as Red bull. It doesn’t matter if it’s fair (although it is because Leclerc is faster), if your competitor does it and it gives them an adavantage, you have to do this as well.

  23. When Sainz was doing his victory lap, waving to the stands, Leclerc accelerated past him and went straight to the box to talk to Binotto. This attitude, plus the constant, permanent complaining during the race was a let down, really.

    1. Yeah.. nothing more disappointing than seeing a championship contender getting angry when his team has worked their level best in taking away 3 race victories from him.

  24. If they were so worried about double stacking, why didn’t they pit Leclerc instead of Sainz??? he was leading, and he’s leading Sainz in the championship, while Verstappen was way down in the order.

    Charles would’ve pitted and lost position to Sainz but there was a big chunk of race still left to run. It was obvious everyone would stop behind them.

    It makes 0 sense.

    They are throwing away the championship. Charles is starting to feel the incompetence like Alonso and Vettel felt during their championship contender years with the team. I don’t think the relationship can go much longer when they make these decisions.

    1. And kudos to Sainz for rubbishing their ill-attempt to fix their mistake… how could they ask him to put distance to Leclerc?!? he’d lost the slipstream AND Charles was never going to pull the gap! Imagine losing the race like that…

      “Stop inventing” he said, which is incredibly appropiate.

  25. Even I, a strategical novice, could see from limited data on the broadcast that Ferrari had plenty of time to decide and it was the most obvious strategy call. And they completely missed it. I’m still shocked at just how bad that are at this.

  26. Surely they could have asked sainz to slow down on his out lap to let leclerc pit the following lap and retained original positions?

    1. @Tom Undoable under SC delta time requirement.

  27. Again, wrong Binotto, even if you did encounter problems double stacking you would still certainly have at least Leclerc ahead. Could have been a 1-2.

  28. Does no-one here understand that in F1 the constructor’s championship is more important to the teams than the driver’s championship?

    Ferrari took the strategy that maximised the team’s points haul, it’s pretty simple.

    1. @dang the argument that Ferrari were focussing on the WCC and trying to maximise their points haul fails when you look at the situation more closely – they actually ended up giving themselves a net worse result in the WCC.

      The only driver whom Sainz might have lost a place to would have been Hamilton – but, with Russell already out of the race, even if Hamilton had passed both Ferrari drivers, Ferrari would still outscore Mercedes in the WCC with a 2-3 finish or even a 3-4 finish.

      At the same time, if Ferrari wanted to close the gap to Red Bull in the WCC, then the most logical thing to do would be to choose a strategy that covers off a pit stop by Perez for soft tyres to maximise your chances of staying ahead – Hamilton and Mercedes are not the primary threat.

      The result that Ferrari ended up with was a 1-4 finish, yielding 37 points for the team – so, when you take away the 18 points that Perez scored for 2nd place, that yielded a net 19 point gain for Ferrari in the WCC.

      If they had a more favourable scenario of a 1-3 finish with Perez in 4th, that would have seen Ferrari score 40 points against 12 for Perez, yielding a net gain of 28 points.

      However, even if they had a scenario where Hamilton won instead and Ferrari only got a 2-3 finish, that would have seen Ferrari score 33 points and Red Bull still scoring just 12 points if Perez was 4th – which would have been a net 21 point gain for Ferrari in the WCC relative to Red Bull.

      If Ferrari really wanted to maximise their WCC position, their best strategy would have been to prioritise getting both drivers onto the podium and defending themselves against Perez. A 1-4 superficially looks better for the team, but because they let Perez through into 2nd place, the net result actually worsened their WCC position by minimising the number of points they gained relative to Red Bull.

    2. @dang 1-3 would have been better for the constructor’s title than the 1-4 they got (or the 1-6/7 – or 1-DNF, thanks to Carlos shoving Charles off track on the restart – they nearly got).

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