Ferrari continues to struggle with strategy


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?

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Published: 13/05/2019
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