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Ferrari continues to struggle with strategy

NEWS STORY
13/05/2019

Hands up those of you screaming at your TVs and viewing devices yesterday, either when urging Ferrari to order Sebastian Vettel to move aside for Charles Leclerc, or the Monegasque to yield to the German.

Not for the first time this season, F1 fans were left angry and frustrated as Ferrari's strategy bordered on the farcical.

Assuming Vettel's reference to something "daring" being planned for the race was his excellent start, which sadly came to nought when he locked-up heading into Turn 1, the subsequent flat-spot proved to be a pain in the arse, literally according to the German.

As he struggled, making repeated calls to be pitted, Ferrari dithered, all the while leaving a clearly quicker Leclerc frustrated as he shadowed his teammate.

Later in the race positions were reversed, Vettel having been put on a two stop strategy like Mercedes, emerged from the pits behind his teammate, yet once again the Italian team failed to seize the moment, having already compromised Leclerc by putting him on the hardest compound at his first stop, the Monegasque was now holding up his clearly faster teammate.

Once past, Vettel was soon 3s up the road, demonstrating just how much time had been lost while his team considered its options.

"Should have we swapped earlier? I think it is never an easy decision," admitted Binotto, "but we as a team are trying to optimism our performance and team result at the end.

"We've swapped in the past and tried to swap again today as they were on a different strategy at that stage," he continued. "Should we have done it early? I think by the time you do it you need to know if the driver behind has the faster pace otherwise you are swapping and not having any result. It may take a few laps to assess that.

"On the other side Charles was fighting for third place with Verstappen because he was on a different strategy with the hard tyres, a single pit stop, so it was important for him not to lose any lap time at that stage of the race. We simply waited for the right moment and should we do it again, I am not sure if we should have done it earlier."

The saddest thing about all this is that if it continues to go pear-shaped, which is clearly the direction in which it is heading, Binotto will be thrown under the bus, and Ferrari will have lost a brilliant engineer when all along it should have appointed a proven team boss to the role in the first place.

(Prancing) horses led by sheep?

Check out our Sunday gallery from Barcelona, here.

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1. Posted by frankguzauskas, 27/05/2019 21:45

"Gunther Steiner needs to view the Indy 500. Does he still think there are no American racers who can drive and win in F1? Alexander Rossi was on fire and did things at 230 mph that no other driver , including F1, would do. Gene Haas must be looking ahead and wondering if he should sign Rossi before Roger Penske grabs him. "

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2. Posted by Tardis40, 14/05/2019 14:23

"What difference does it make? The game is over already."

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3. Posted by Spartacus, 13/05/2019 18:26

"With the amount of team engineers and strategists present during an F1 race it might seem there are too many.
It was evident during the first incident that Vettel and LeClerc should have swapped within the same lap. Funny to say or not, that this flared up again in the later stages of the race where they had to swap back even if on different strategies. At this point of the race, if I were Vettel and saw LeClerc on whites, I would be shaking my head! We shouldn't be racing each other! Unfortunately, Ferrari has made themselves look like a mid level team, at least from race control next to the pit box. The driver of the day was Kyvat. The season is over, perhaps Redbull will be able to challenge Ferrari and the rest of the races will be about Ferrari/Redbull. I hope Gasley can get it together and step it up!!"

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4. Posted by imejl99, 13/05/2019 13:08

"Until now Vettel was compromising his own races with opening stage mistakes, this was his 4th in last two seasons, but who`s counting... except, this one was way too early, first corner, and compromised not just his race.
Combined with soft leadership, situation made Verstappen 3rd overall instead of Leclerc, after 5 races. I am not saying cut the cord, but make Leclerc first driver, ease pressure on Vettel, and show some decisiveness. Both could benefit. As it is now, Vettel could lose his nerves, Leclerc could end up with broken spirit."

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5. Posted by stackvideo, 13/05/2019 12:06

"I am now convinced that the Ferrari strategy team are on the Mercedes payroll"

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6. Posted by Motorsport-fan, 13/05/2019 9:31

"You do not have to be "a proven team boss" to call these 2 situations, it was clearly evident to swap the positions and not have a team meeting to discuss options, just do it, Mr Binotto I am available! "

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