Ferrari explain two timing errors which cost Leclerc Monaco win

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In the round-up: Ferrari’s head of race strategy, Inaki Rueda, says the team misjudged Charles Leclerc’s gap to his rivals twice during the Monaco Grand Prix

In brief

Ferrari made two timing errors which cost Leclerc Monaco win

Ferrari’s sporting director and head of race strategy, Inaki Rueda, explained on a video released by the team they had made “two mistakes” with Leclerc’s strategy in the race, which saw him fall from first to fourth.

To begin with they attempted to cover Sergio Perez’s switch to intermediate tyres. At the point Leclerc came into the pits, Ferrari’s strategy software showed his likely advantage over Perez had diminished to just one second. Rueda said they hadn’t expected Perez to gain nine seconds on their driver in a single lap.

The team’s second mistake “was a gap mistake again” Rueda continued. “We wanted to pit both cars onto dry tyres. On lap 21, we thought the track was good for dry tyres. At the same time we were bringing Carlos in to try and keep the lead of the race, we thought, ‘let’s bring Charles to try and undercut Perez so we can finish P1 and P2’.

Transcript: How Red Bull seized a win that “Ferrari looked like they had in the bag”
“As we were coming in, we were looking at our tools and our gaps. The gap in between our cars was five seconds. It was tight for a stop here. A comfortable stop here is done with six seconds in between the cars, but we thought five-and-a-half seconds might be enough.

“As the cars got closer and closer to pit entry, the gap was narrowed and at pit entry, the gap was only three-and-a-half seconds. We made a last second attempt to try and tell Charles to stay out, but it was too late – he had already veered into the pit lane and in this stop, Charles lost two seconds. This was crucial. This is what allowed Verstappen to come out ahead of Charles a lap later.”

Mercedes junior Aron tops wet FREC test

Mercedes junior driver Paul Aron was fastest in the Formula Regional European Championship (FREC) test day at Paul Ricard ahead of this weekend’s two races at the French circuit.

Aron, who currently sits seventh in the series after six races with one race win, set the fastest time in both the wet morning and dry afternoon sessions of a 1’59.325. The Prema driver was just under three tenths faster than Michael Belov, with ART’s Gabriele Mini third fastest.

The FREC is currently led by Ferrari academy driver Dino Beganovic, who leads Hadrien David by 129 points to 74 after three race victories.

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Comment of the day

Williams’ Dave Robson is full of praise for the team’s new driver Alex Albon, but @thegianthogweed has not been impressed by Albon’s two most recent race performances…

He damaged his car in Spain and then had poor performance and kept getting track limit warnings followed by a black-and-white flag then a penalty and he finished 50 seconds behind Latifi. Latifi was bad enough but he was dreadful.

Then in Monaco, Latifi tapped the barrier but before the race began was not the worst time for that to happen and it didn’t cost him that much. Albon however did the same track limits, black-and-white flag and penalty thing as last race, then wrecked his rear right wheel causing a puncture and then also was holding Leclerc up for almost the entire lap. Latifi also held up Sainz, but not for as long. It is also likely that the damage Albon gave himself contributed to his retirement. I would say Albon has been terrible the past two weekends.
Ben Rowe

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Nathan Bradley, Alexf1Man and Sam Lotay!

On this day in motorsport

  • 50 years ago today Emerson Fittipaldi won the Belgian Grand Prix, which had moved to the short-lived Nivelles circuit

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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  • 11 comments on “Ferrari explain two timing errors which cost Leclerc Monaco win”

    1. Interesting to hear some insights from ferrari themselves about what went wrong, since at monaco strategy is essential.

    2. Surely only one incorrect decision was made… Stacking Leclerc was the correct decision- would you rather lose 3 seconds due to a slow stop due to stacking, or lose even more time by circulating for another lap on incorrect tyres to avoid stacking?

      1. That Sainz was on his first stop and Leclerc was behind him on his second might give an indication of the first incorrect decision.

      2. @theessence If one’s aim is to win the race (without caring about overall constructor’s points), one pits the driver most likely to win on their own and leave the other one out for a lap.

        If one’s aim is to maximise constructor’s points (without caring about maximising any given driver’s position), one stacks. It was a good stack, though I thunink the time loss was 4 seconds by the time the stop, the manuvering and the fact the parking went slightly awry due to suboptimal positioning and possibly fury.

        Either way, probably best to recognise the computer got it wrong the first time and do manual override (in this case by doing whatever one was going to do earlier).

    3. Is F1 spending $240m for a spot of land in las vegas really a good deal considering they have hamstrung teams with a cost cap and are refusing to allow a new team to enter to avoid having to spend more of its revenue by splitting it with 11 teams rather than 10.

      Plus does anyone really think this rather dull looking Las vegas car park track is going to be around for that long?

      If F1 are having to waste that sort of money to buy land to make a car park street track work for teams then it was clearly not a good place to throw together the car park track. Could have spent far less to go racing on a proper racetrack anywhere else.

      But the show and spectacle over sport era of Liberty Media WWE F1 cares only about the spectacle glitz and glamour off track so i guess racing on an actual good track no longer is important.

      I’d much rather they save the money to race on a proper track or help get another team or 2 on the grid than have another horrid car park street race on a track like all the other recent car park street tracks.

      1. The ‘hamstrung’ teams collectively agreed to the budget cap, PeterG. For some, it makes the difference between participating in F1 or not.
        And Liberty aren’t ‘refusing to allow a new team to enter’ – they are merely making it impossibly expensive at the existing teams’ request (as a bargaining tool).
        If you think about these two things and put them together, you may even see how one might compensate for the other….

        Dull or not is irrelevant to Liberty – if it makes money, then it’s good. Look, Monaco is still on the Calendar, and Sochi would be too if not for the current political climate.
        I’d suggest Liberty will dabble with the idea of holding their own event (as their own promoter) to see if it’s worth it financially in the long run. And even if it isn’t, they’ll be the proud new owner of a track they can hire out to other racing series, and even sell at a later date.
        For a profit, of course.
        Remember, Liberty doesn’t only exist for F1.

        But the show and spectacle over sport era of Liberty Media WWE F1 cares only about the spectacle glitz and glamour off track so i guess racing on an actual good track no longer is important.

        Well, that covers Monaco.
        F1 is a business, Peter – racing quality isn’t even a secondary consideration, but much further down the list. And which ‘good tracks’ are you thinking of?

        Liberty have just recently stated they think the current 10 teams are fine and are only showing mild interest in additional manufacturers, and they also think the venues are satisfactory ($) or else they wouldn’t go to them.
        One thing I can guarantee they will never do, however, is subsidise additional teams or venues just to satisfy viewers.
        We, too, are not their primary concern. Not directly, anyway.

    4. The timing errors are not the problem, the problem was the strategy.
      Strategy was super simple, in short they only needed to cover for RB.
      The gap that Perez exploited was always going to be put to use, ferrari could have gone for it first since they were 1-2, if not with sainz, a lap later with Leclerc would have crucially ensured they’d still be ahead of Perez with one car, either way both cars would be ahead of both RB.
      With one car pitting for inters the other was always going to go for track position and wait for slicks if possible. Again Ferrari wouldn’t have been under much pressure because the car that stayed out could have controlled the gap between it and the car on inters. Ferrari would not have been at risk of undercutting because the cars on inters were already undercutting, and overcutting is trivial when you on the lead.

    5. Timing errors indeed, something (& strategic errors generally) they can’t afford if they’re to stand a chance against RBR in the championship battles until the season’s end.

      Re the latest Grill The Grid upload: Even I had difficulties getting everything right quickly, so I began pausing for each separately from Zandvoort onwards & I got each one right eventually.
      Montreal, I only got right because Paul Ricard precedes immediately & Montreal was my 2nd choice for Singapore.
      I’m Surprised Suzuka didn’t get included. For Imola, the Tamburello combination’s opening turn would be better as that’s the actual T1.

      As the COTD is a direct reply to my post, I copy-paste my reply here: Mechanic(s) caused the damage in Spain rather than him + he already excessive tyre wear before, so factors outside his control.
      Monaco GP is another matter. COTD simply failed to note how Albon got his Spanish GP damage.

    6. I read two other fundamental mistakes:

      1. Ferrari didn’t account for Redbull luring them into action by putting their second driver in a aggressive strategy. At that moment in the race, Redbull didn’t even know it would be the winning strategy, just the riskier one. Man, that is same trick they used to let Verstappen win in Barcelona 2016.

      2. Ferrari software does not predict the gap, the cars will have when entering the pitlane. It could be calculated from the laptime difference between cars.

    7. More of the same strategic errors that have blighted Ferrari for many years. RB and MB show what active responses achieve. Scud Erica just passively hoping their car is fastest. The championship could be lost (again) on this.

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