Television broadcast gave “nonsensical” impression of Sainz radio call – Ferrari

2022 French Grand Prix

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Ferrari say the broadcasting of their radio messages during last week’s French Grand Prix gave viewers an incorrect impression of the discussion around Carlos Sainz Jnr’s strategy.

During the live television coverage viewers were played a message in which Sainz refused an instruction from race engineer Riccardo Adami to make his second pit stop. It was broadcast while footage was shown of Sainz overtaking Sergio Perez for third place.

Ferrari pointed out the radio message was not played live, and as a result the lag gave viewers a misleading impression that they had told Sainz to pit while he was overtaking Perez.

“The way the television production feeds the data to the viewers has a delay in it,” said the team’s head of race strategy Inaki Rueda in a video released by the team.

“In this case, you, you saw Perez and Carlos were fighting on lap 41. We were talking to Carlos. We saw that Carlos could not overtake Perez on the back straight and in turn 10 we actually called Carlos in.

“Of course, he was fighting with Perez, he thought he would have him the lap after. And that’s why he decided to [say] ‘please don’t come in, not this lap’.

“Now, you were watching the television live, that call came on the television feed on turn 15, right after the entry, which is nonsensical, because do we call the driver so late he cannot actually react to our call?”

Sainz’s final pit stop dropped him from third on the track to eighth. He was only able to recover to fifth place by the chequered flag, prompting claims Ferrari had made a tactical error.

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But Rueda said a second pit stop for Sainz was always going to be necessary as the medium compound tyres he fitted during the Safety Car period were not going to last until the end of the race.

“The life expectancy of the tyre is around 25 laps and that stint after the Safety Car called for a 35-lap stint. So we would have been 10 laps short. In these cases when a driver goes past the life expectation of the type, he has to nurse that tyre, he has to drive very slowly, otherwise he potentially risks having a tyre failure.

“Having a tyre failure is potentially very dangerous because you will for sure end up with a car in the barrier.”

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Paul Ricard, 2022
Gallery: 2022 French Grand Prix in pictures
As Sainz had collected a five-second time penalty at his first pit stop, Ferrari saw no value in leaving him out ahead of Sergio Perez and George Russell.

“Even though Carlos still managed to overtake Russell and Perez he was never going to be able to open a five-second gap on them, having to nurse those medium tyres to the end,” he said. “With this in mind, we decided to pit Carlos and make sure that he came back and got an extra point for the fastest lap.”

Sainz’s team mate Charles Leclerc retired early in the race when he crashed at Beausset. He was being pursued by Max Verstappen, who had just made his first pit stop.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner believes Verstappen would have got ahead of Leclerc and kept him behind when the Ferrari driver made his pit stop. But Ferrari think Leclerc would have been able to gain enough of a tyre advantage to pass his championship rival.

“Charles did an excellent job of keeping Verstappen behind the whole first thing and Verstappen came in and stopped very early. We thought that would be the case, and Charles was ready to ignore Verstappen and concentrate on doing our optimum race. Unfortunately, Charles didn’t finish the race.

“We were quite confident that had it going in another way Charles would have pitted five six laps later and would have had the pace to come back at Verstappen and overtake him for the race win.”

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2022 French Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
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31 comments on “Television broadcast gave “nonsensical” impression of Sainz radio call – Ferrari”

  1. Regardless, it must have happened straight during the fight when Sainz had to focus…

    Amazingly, Ferrari throws everything at it to ruin their drivers’ races.

    1. Sainz jnr always finds a way to make himself look good.

      1. I don’t think that Sainz has time to think about such things during those race-deciding radio calls. Plus he seems to be a no-nonsense guy, Ferrari can twist things any way they like, but he’s usually right when he tries to override their strategy calls. That’s what separates him from Leclerc, who’s probably more talented and faster, but he doesn’t dare to think for himself when it’s time to make a call. As I said before somewhere, too bad these two can’t be combined into one driver, with Sainz’ intelligence and instinct and Leclerc’ natural speed and skill. Obviously, I don’t think that Sainz is slow or Leclerc slow-minded, we talk about little differences that sometimes make all the difference in F1.

    2. Yeah, it probably happened about half a lap earlier @xenomorph91. If they believed their numbers on paper, as they seem to have been doing (while other teams were seeing better than expected degradation in reality), they should have called him in before he lost time even fighting Perez.

      I still think that he could well have made it, and even if he did not drive out a gap, he still would have been in exactly the same 5th place he achieved now, but without having to repass 4 cars to do it. And I would even doubt the amount of risk, since stopping is a risk, having to pass 4 cars including the likes of Alonso is not without risk either, even with the huge tyre life difference Sainz had by then.

      1. Exactly this. Nothing to lose, a lot to win.
        Well yeah the tyres could have blown but not a lot of places where your car would end up against the wall… except in the turn where Leclerc crashed :D

      2. @xenomorph91 @bascb the box call came in the middle of the battle with Perez – actually right before Sainz was taking the corner where he actually overtook Perez. So they basically picked just about the worst moment.

        1. Yes, that too showed their lack of awareness of what was going on outside on track @mattds. They keep being to slow to decide, should have stopped Sainz before he got stuck behind Perez to give this strategy a good chance. Instead they waited until he got into the battle, and then when Sainz finally got past, gave up the position.

    3. Distracting Sainz from a pointless fight with significant risk attached to attempting to overtake Perez.
      Sainz nevertheless attacks … and then pits … oy vey!

  2. Jonathan Parkin
    26th July 2022, 14:00

    We can probably blame Giancarlo Fisichella for this. I don’t know this for certain, but him telling us that his car was ******* **** almost certainly was one of the reasons why we don’t have live team radio

    1. No it must have been the same guy who messed up Mclaren team radio in Melbourne in 1998

    2. A true live team radio would be mostly pointless. The TV crew doesn’t know ahead of time what any team would be talking to their drivers about and would mostly be airing team radios of little to no interest to the viewers, e.g. just drivers asking about gaps to others or other mundane radio talk.
      It would make a little sense if they played the live radio of a car in an active fight on the track, but they don’t really talk that much while concentrating on the fight anyway. So it only really makes sense to play curated snippets on the world feed. And curating them inherently adds a brief delay to the broadcast. So there really isn’t any other way to do it that makes sense anyway.

      1. You can do a live stream for one driver in F1TV.

  3. The radio broadcasts have been delayed since 2006 (Think it was Fisichella dropping an F Bomb at Bahrain that year that ended live transmissions) so I was surprised that Croft & Di Resta seemed to be thinking that they were calling him in while he was in the middle of him racing with Perez through the final sector.

    Been quite a few times where Croft has treated an obviously delayed radio broadcast as if it’s a more immediate radio call.

    1. Croft had only one rival for the F1 clown announcer title and that was Steve Matchett.

      1. On F1TV there are two English speaking commentator options: The Sky Crew and currently Ben Edwards/Jolyon Palmer. After trying a few races with Sky there is no doubt that I prefer the official commentator team. Although the Sky team have lots of knowledge they also have that clown Crofty which makes it an easy choice.

        1. Ben Edwards is back commentating?! By far the best modern era commentator but I thought he’d retired.

          1. @dang Ben did step away from doing full time commentary that required him to travel to races. On the F1 Live feed on F1TV he doesn’t have to travel to races & he also doesn’t do the commentary for every race as they have a rotating crew of people handling it.

            And for I think it was the Miami Gp they had John Watson alongside Ben which was a nice little nostalgia trip.

          2. Yeah, that was a really nice one in Miami @stefmeister. I really like how they have a bit of a rotation. Edwards is really good, but the overall commentary on F1 TV is very good in general.

        2. I so wish we had F1TV pro here. Ben Edwards is amazing

        3. love the Edwards & Palmer announcing live – sucks that if i do a re-watch via “(race) in 30” it’s Crofty & co. in that version instead :( but at least it’s only a half hour of that business

    2. The broadcast did discus the lag. But Ferrari’s explanation doesn’t make it any better. They told him in corner 10 when he was bearing down on Perez. OK. But this was after laps of dithering on the issue after being warned by Perez that the opportunity to pit may have already been lost. And this truth that the mediums could not go the whole way was not exactly part of the radio discussion. Indeed, if that were true and known at the time, there would have been no discussion about pitting or not, just about the ideal time to do it. This is another sad “we are checking” moment for their pitwall and their attempts to retcon it look nonsensical.

    3. It was obvious that it wasn’t a message from 10 seconds earlier and they didn’t treat it really as such. But you could hear from Sainz’s voice telling the team to shut up, that he was all ready in a fight and shaping up to overtake Perez, that it was a very wrong time to be distracting him. Crofty saying aren’t they watching the screens, can’t they see he’s putting on an overtake. Every team can pull up a window showing both their cars. Like you can select any driver to go on board, in the F1TV.

      The last few years, Ferrari seem to be out of their depth when it comes to communicating to the drivers and making time crunch decisions. It seems they badly need someone that can think on their feet and make quick decisions when under pressure. Who ever is on the other end of the Ferrari drivers radio seems to be just too slow at everything.

    4. @stefmeister

      so I was surprised that Croft & Di Resta seemed to be thinking that they were calling him in while he was in the middle of him racing with Perez through the final sector.

      Your surprise should then be fully directed at Ferrari too because that’s exactly what happened. The call was delayed by a mere few seconds, as it was sent out by Ferrari to Sainz in the corner before he overtook Perez.

  4. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
    26th July 2022, 16:11

    The pit sops this year were longer than in previous years and on top of that Sainz had a 5 second penalty to serve. It took Verstappen 20 odd laps to catch Hamilton last year. Giving Sainz just 11 was never going to get him back to Perez.

  5. petebaldwin (@)
    26th July 2022, 17:38

    Well yeah – it obviously makes perfect sense to delay a pit stop so you can overtake a car with all the risks involved and then immediately pit…. Silly me for thinking Ferrari have no idea what they are doing!

    Just in case there’s any doubt, yes – that was indeed sarcasm.

  6. Ferrari remind me of 2009-2012 Martin Whitmarsh era at McLaren, clueless man management and playing damage control instead of fixing fundamental flaws with the team.
    Ferrari should focus on ending the general elitist entitled hubris culture that has plagued Maranello post Todt/Brawn/Byrne/MS(no coincidence that none are Italian..) era and need a full structural reform because just like McLaren in 2012 they are throwing away a potential WDC with small but devastating costly mistakes and errors that should’ve been tackled by management.

    Also king clown commentator david croft is partly responsible for making multiple mistakes during the race (re-watch the start highlights when he said alonso got up to 4th when he was clearly 5th on screen..) misleading viewers implying that the radio communication was live when it is delayed by up to 90 seconds depending on any obscenities and the editing speed of the production crew.
    If you want to criticise it should be directed at FOM for placing a radio call in the middle of an overtake plus general amateur production quality this season, maybe it wasn’t only Masi that was placed on gardening leave after the farcical end to the 2021 season.. but Sky bootlickers do not want to state the obvious and anger the FIA risking spoiling the gravy train and the fancy perks..

    Finally Does david croft have ‘kompromat’ on the ceo of sky because he needed to be fired years ago for his general buffoonery and incompetent behaviour.

    1. The problem with Croft Sunday was simply that he lacked Brundle to provide appropriate and timely corrections. He only had the rambling, muttering DiResta to keep him honest. Also, be grateful you don’t have to suffer with Leigh “Fireworks” Diffy. I can’t take that guy.

    2. @ccpbioweapon

      If you want to criticise it should be directed at FOM for placing a radio call in the middle of an overtake

      The radio call came just moments ahead of the actal overtake. Like, right before Sainz went into the corner where he actually overtook Perez.

  7. It was Sainz who refused the original instruction to pit. Not a Ferrari pitwall error.

  8. Welcome to the modern day F1 show Mattia.

    They only broadcast a few snippets, sometimes minutes after the conversation so they can spice things up. Been going on for ages, so I imagine he’s not surprised.

    It’s a bit sad that Croft and co yabber on after a radio snippet as it its “just happened” when they’d have been told quite clearly it’s a replay from some time before.

    1. @dbradock

      They only broadcast a few snippets, sometimes minutes after the conversation so they can spice things up. Been going on for ages, so I imagine he’s not surprised.

      While true, in this case the message was delayed just by a few seconds.

      It’s a bit sad that Croft and co yabber on after a radio snippet as it its “just happened” when they’d have been told quite clearly it’s a replay from some time before.

      They aren’t told when the actual message was sent, but as above in this case the delay was just a few seconds – they gave Sainz the box call right before the corner where he overtook.
      It was delayed by like 5 seconds or something.

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