Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Silverstone, 2019

Ferrari explains pit call which dropped Leclerc behind Verstappen

2019 British Grand Prix

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Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto says the team had little opportunity to avoid Charles Leclerc losing out to Max Verstappen during the Safety Car period in the British Grand Prix.

The Ferrari driver fell behind Verstappen when they pitted together at the end of the first stint, then immediately re-passed his rival. He remained ahead until the Safety Car came out but the Red Bull’s race pace appeared superior.

Binotto said the team was at a disadvantage at this point because Verstappen could react to what they did.

“On the radio we know Max was called ‘opposite to Charles’ and if he would have stopped, Max would have stayed out and we would have simply put Charles behind everybody. And probably that would not have been the right call.

“I think we had not really any choice at the time. [We’re] trying to stay ahead but as soon as Max stopped I think we looked at all the data, it was still good for us to stop again. I don’t think we could have stopped earlier, one stop before, because the others [would have] to stay out and we would have lost our entire advantage.”

Ferrari again chose to start the race on the softest available tyre. Binotto said it wasn’t clear whether this had given them an advantage or not. “I think at least we can say it was not the wrong choice.

“Having discussed with the drivers I think that Charles had got some good pace at the start of the race. He was controlling the tyres as well not to wear them. He was able to at least manage the pace and be in the very first lap faster than the people behind.

“We believe it was the right choice. It was difficult to have a comparison.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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15 comments on “Ferrari explains pit call which dropped Leclerc behind Verstappen”

  1. Ferrari have been trying to put Charles behind Vettel all season long, that is the the fact!!!

    1. Leclerc managed to podium despite all Ferrari’s efforts to thwart him.

    2. Ferrari did nothing wrong this time. Vettel was ahead of Leclerc and no strategy call was going to change that. And no strategy call would have achieved anything better for either driver. It’s easy to complain, but there was simply no better alternative available. People claiming otherwise might need to take their time to read what Binotto said.

    3. That’s why they got rid of RAI, to get a faster driver and then only to bring him to the same position RAI finished?!?!

    4. It’s amazing how after every second race Ferrari has to explain their strategy for Leclerc to the media. Just goes to show that he still receives the same level of sub par treatment that is customary for the #2 driver at Ferrari.

      Such a shame, Leclerc would have been far ahead of Seb on points if it wasn’t for the team orders issued and rubbish strategy given to him on every race weekend.

  2. Ferrari have been trying to put Vettel ahead of Charles all season long

  3. VER had no other option but trying to do something different, since It appears that LEC would rather crash than letting him through… Good to see that VER found another match after RAI left Ferrari…Others seem to respect (or fear) VER too much. I think LEC learned his lesson in Áustria and now it’s game on.

  4. That whole stop was unnecessary leclerc’s tyres were in good condition.

    The fact that red bull said opposite to Charles put the ball and advantage in their hand,

    1. I doubt he would have been able to do that many laps on the softs without massively struggling towards the end of the race.

      1. *mediums. My brain still registers yellow sidewall as “softs”.

  5. It was a no brainer to pit. Ferrari need a new strategy system. Track position was not king today.

    1. Then, same stuff for BOT no?!

  6. Long story short: we failed again with strategy, but Vettel made it right for Leclerc.

  7. Bumbling, stumbling, crumbling……..

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