Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Hungaroring, 2022

Transcript: Why Ferrari told Leclerc ‘the hard is worse than expected’ but still used it

2022 Hungarian GP team radio transcript

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Ferrari’s decision to put Charles Leclerc on the hard tyre for his third stint during the Hungarian Grand Prix was seen by many as a tactical error which cost him victory in the race.

After fitting the hards Leclerc immediately struggled for grip, was passed by championship rival Max Verstappen twice and had to make a third pit stop which left the former race leader sixth at the finish.

However the poor performance of the hard tyre did not take Ferrari completely by surprise. As the transcripts of their radio messages from the race shows, Ferrari advised Leclerc to look after his medium compound tyres during the second stint, potentially hoping to extend it, and warned him it would take longer to warm the hard tyre up then they originally expected.

Ferrari were also preoccupied with the progress being made by Verstappen, who despite starting 10th on the grid was able to stay within a few seconds of Leclerc. Despite their growing concerns over the performance of the hard tyre, having observed the difficulties Haas and Alpena experienced with it, Ferrari decided it was a risk worth taking.

Race start, Hungaroring, 2022
Leclerc went from third to first… to sixth
They were led to take this decision partly by calls they had made earlier in the race. During Leclerc’s first stint Ferrari asked him how long he could keep up his current pace on the medium tyres. Although he told them he could go for seven or eight more laps, and his lap times did not significantly drop off after that, Ferrari nonetheless pitted him after just two more laps. That kept him ahead of Verstappen but lengthened his later stints, making the soft tyre a less attractive option.

Had Ferrari not shortened Leclerc’s two earlier stints, he might have made his second pit stop late enough to use the soft tyres instead of the hard. That was, of course, the strategy Ferrari put his team mate Carlos Sainz Jnr on, once Leclerc’s bitter experienced showed them the performance of the hard tyres was even worse than they feared.

Charles Leclerc’s radio messages during the French Grand Prix

Leclerc kept his position behind leader George Russell and Carlos Sainz Jnr at the start. Russell started the race on soft tyres and by lap 10 the medium-shod Ferraris were closing in on him.

Lap: 1 Position: 3 Lap time: 1’30.984
Marcos PadrosDebris turn two. Virtual Safety Car deployed. Watch for debris turn two. It’s on the racing line.
Lap: 2 Position: 3 Lap time: 1’54.855
Marcos PadrosWatch for debris turn two, racing line.
Marcos PadrosVirtual Safety Car ending. Reset brake balance, K2 on. Will be at turn three.
Lap: 3 Position: 3 Lap time: 1’28.826
Marcos PadrosAnd DRS enabled.
Lap: 4 Position: 3 Lap time: 1’23.573
Lap: 5 Position: 3 Lap time: 1’24.315
Marcos PadrosAnd easy into turn four and 11. S2 for turn six, suggestion.
Lap: 6 Position: 3 Lap time: 1’24.187
Marcos PadrosAnd easy entry turn 11.
Lap: 7 Position: 3 Lap time: 1’24.103
Marcos PadrosAnd tyres are ready. Easy with the tyres at turn 11 Sainz lap time 24.0.
Lap: 8 Position: 3 Lap time: 1’24.141
Marcos PadrosAnd easy turning into 11.
Lap: 9 Position: 3 Lap time: 1’23.818
Lap: 10 Position: 3 Lap time: 1’24.124
Marcos PadrosAnd be careful brake release into turn six.
Marcos PadrosGood job at turn six.
Lap: 11 Position: 3 Lap time: 1’24.148
Marcos PadrosTyre phase update when you can.
LeclercI cannot get much closer than that. Tyres are okay.
Marcos PadrosCopy.
Carlos Sainz Jr, Ferrari, Hungaroring, 2022
Leclerc asked Ferrari to hurry up his team mate

Leclerc closed on Sainz more quickly than his team mate gained on Russell, a point the chasing Ferrari driver made sure his team picked up on. Behind them Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen, recovering from poor grid positions, passed Norris to enter the top five.

When Russell pitted to discard his soft tyres Sainz and Verstappen immediately reacted. Sainz later suggested his slow pit stop cost him the change to pass Russell, but in fact there was almost nothing to choose between the total time both spent in the pits.

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Lap: 12 Position: 3 Lap time: 1’24.077
Marcos PadrosNow next car behind is Hamilton. He just passed Norris.
Marcos PadrosSo next car behind information we have Hamilton together with Verstappen.
Lap: 13 Position: 3 Lap time: 1’24.105
LeclercCan Carlos go any quicker?
Marcos PadrosWe are asking for it.
Lap: 14 Position: 3 Lap time: 1’24.326
Marcos PadrosAnd flap update when you can.
Marcos PadrosOkay copy that. Russell 25.0.
Lap: 15 Position: 3 Lap time: 1’24.407
Marcos PadrosAnd switch position yellow.
LeclercYeah we can also anticipate them.
Lap: 16 Position: 2 Lap time: 1’25.005
Marcos PadrosHamilton, 25.1. So Russell just pitted.
Lap: 17 Position: 1 Lap time: 1’24.385
Marcos PadrosAnd Verstappen just pitted now.
Marcos PadrosSainz is boxing now.
Marcos PadrosAnd switch position grey.

As Sainz had pitted first of the two Ferraris, the logical option for Leclerc was to pursue an alternative strategy as far as possible and run longer. Asked how much further he could take his original set of tyres at his current pace, Leclerc said they were good for at least seven more laps.

However just two laps later, with Leclerc lapping only a few tenths of a second slower, Ferrari brought him in. That ensured Leclerc emerged in front of championship leader Verstappen and also jumped in front of his team mate, thanks in part to his visit to the pits taking a second less than Sainz’s had.

Lap: 18 Position: 1 Lap time: 1’23.792
Marcos PadrosAnd we need status five. And SOC four when you can.
Lap: 19 Position: 1 Lap time: 1’23.911
Marcos PadrosVerstappen lap time 23.0, new medium.
Marcos PadrosHow many more laps at this pace you can do, question.
LeclercFor now the tyres are holding up. Difficult question, though. I think around seven, eight.
Lap: 20 Position: 1 Lap time: 1’24.262
Marcos PadrosUnderstood and Hamilton just pitted.
Marcos PadrosAnd SOC six when you can.
Marcos PadrosInformation gap to Russell behind 18.2 Gap to Sainz 21.5.
Lap: 21 Position: 1 Lap time: 1’26.481
Marcos PadrosAnd box now, box, pit confirm.
LeclercCharles pit lane.
Marcos PadrosCopy.
Marcos PadrosYou can keep K2 on until turn two.

Leclerc, running on another set of medium compound tyres, was now second behind Russell, who he quickly caught.

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Lap: 22 Position: 2 Lap time: 1’41.737
Marcos PadrosTight with Sainz in pit exit.
Marcos PadrosAnd reminder, slow introduction with these tyres.
Marcos PadrosAnd pace delta to Russell from tyres four to five tenths. And easy entry turns four and 11.
Lap: 23 Position: 2 Lap time: 1’22.995
Lap: 24 Position: 2 Lap time: 1’23.596
Marcos PadrosAnd right toggle for turn 14, suggestion.
Lap: 25 Position: 2 Lap time: 1’23.447
Lap: 26 Position: 2 Lap time: 1’23.278
Lap: 27 Position: 2 Lap time: 1’23.602
(L to R): Charles Leclerc, Ferrari; George Russell, Mercedes; Hungaroring, 2022
Leclerc patiently worked his way past Russell

It took Leclerc several laps to pass the Mercedes, however, during which time he lost crucial time to Verstappen. By the time Leclerc was leading, Verstappen was only five seconds behind.

Lap: 28 Position: 2 Lap time: 1’24.560
Lap: 29 Position: 2 Lap time: 1’24.278
Marcos PadrosAnd tyres are ready.
Lap: 30 Position: 2 Lap time: 1’24.056
Lap: 31 Position: 1 Lap time: 1’23.003
Marcos PadrosGood job.
Marcos PadrosLook a bit after these tyres.
Marcos PadrosAvoid saturation turn one. Next in front will be Albon. Gap to him, 3.9.
Lap: 32 Position: 1 Lap time: 1’24.278
LeclercIt’s raining a bit.
Marcos PadrosCopy. Should be just drops. Nothing more than this. And flashing blues for Albon in front. Russell behind 24.6.
Lap: 33 Position: 1 Lap time: 1’23.365
Lap: 34 Position: 1 Lap time: 1’23.388
Marcos PadrosAnd switch position white.

With clear air, Leclerc gained another two seconds on Verstappen by lap 37. Meanwhile Ferrari had kept an eye on the likes of Haas and Alpine who had already run the hard tyre and realised the compound Leclerc was due to use for his third and final stint wasn’t performing as well as they hoped it would. They let him know.

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Lap: 35 Position: 1 Lap time: 1’23.498
Marcos PadrosFlashing blues for Magnussen in front.
Marcos PadrosAnd information, warm-up with the hard is worse than expected.
Marcos PadrosAnd solid blues for Magnussen in front. And Safety Car window open.
Lap: 36 Position: 1 Lap time: 1’23.144
Lap: 37 Position: 1 Lap time: 1’23.453
Leclerc[unclear] rear tyre, let’s stay on it after Safety Car.
Marcos PadrosFlashing blues for Latifi in front. And we will need status four.

Within a few laps Verstappen made his second pit stop. Ferrari had two clear choices.

One was to leave Leclerc out until he could fit softs and run to the end, which risked dropping him behind Verstappen and might already have been compromised by his shortened first stint. The alternative was to bring Leclerc in immediately, ensure they stayed ahead of Verstappen, and risk running the hards. They chose the latter.

Lap: 38 Position: 1 Lap time: 1’23.805
Marcos PadrosSolid blues for Latifi in front.
Marcos PadrosAnd tyre phase update when you can. And brake balance plus one suggestion.
Marcos PadrosAnd Verstappen just pitted now. So Verstappen pitted for medium.
Lap: 39 Position: 1 Lap time: 1’26.324
Marcos PadrosAnd box this lap, box. Pit confirm. Solid blues for Schumacher in front.
LeclercCharles, pit lane.
Marcos PadrosTight with Perez at pit exit. And you can keep K2 on until turn five.
(L to R): Max Verstappen, Red Bull; Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Hungaroring, 2022
Verstappen passed Leclerc, then passed him again after spinning the first time

Leclerc immediately struggled to get the hard tyres up to operating temperature. Verstappen breezed past him. Ferrari, whose data told them the performance of the hard tyre would improve later in the stint, reassured him.

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Lap: 40 Position: 3 Lap time: 1’45.325
Marcos PadrosSo behind we have Perez and Verstappen, Verstappen with new medium.
Marcos PadrosVerstappen behind with DRS.
LeclercFuck, the tyres are shit.
Lap: 41 Position: 3 Lap time: 1’25.755
Marcos PadrosStill a long race to go.

Shortly after Verstappen passed Leclerc the team was handed a gift. Verstappen made a rare error, spinning at turn 13.

With that, Leclerc was back ahead. But, it turned out, not for long. He left his team in no doubt he was unimpressed with the hard tyre’s performance. He pressed on, trying to coax them into life, but once Verstappen got past Leclerc’s lap times never recovered and soon Russell began to close on him again.

Marcos PadrosSo gap to Verstappen behind 1.2.
Lap: 42 Position: 3 Lap time: 1’23.462
Marcos PadrosGap to Verstappen 1.3. And 28 laps to go.
Lap: 43 Position: 3 Lap time: 1’22.456
Marcos PadrosGap to Verstappen 0.8.
Marcos PadrosGap to Verstappen 1.0.
Marcos PadrosVerstappen behind with DRS.
Lap: 44 Position: 3 Lap time: 1’22.839
Marcos PadrosGap to Verstappen 0.7.
Marcos PadrosVerstappen with DRS.
Lap: 45 Position: 4 Lap time: 1’24.300
LeclercThese tyres are shit.
LeclercAnd 25 laps to go. Still a long way.
Lap: 46 Position: 4 Lap time: 1’23.335
Lap: 47 Position: 4 Lap time: 1’23.158
Marcos PadrosSingle yellow turn two, now it’s clear.
Lap: 48 Position: 3 Lap time: 1’23.163
Marcos PadrosAnd flashing blues for Gasly in front of Verstappen.
Lap: 49 Position: 3 Lap time: 1’23.509
Marcos PadrosAnd you will hit traffic for three cars next lap or so. Flashing blues for Gasly in front.
Lap: 50 Position: 3 Lap time: 1’24.334
Marcos PadrosFlashing blues for Gasly in front.
Marcos PadrosAnd solid blues for Gasly in front.
Marcos PadrosAnd Russell behind with DRS.
Marcos PadrosAnd solid blues for Zhou in front.

The Mercedes driver pressured and eventually passed Leclerc. With that, his patience snapped, and he told his team to consider a change of strategy: A third pit stop, for soft tyres.

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Lap: 51 Position: 3 Lap time: 1’24.152
Marcos PadrosGap to Russell behind 0.4.
Marcos PadrosRussell behind with DRS.
Lap: 52 Position: 2 Lap time: 1’23.544
Marcos PadrosAnd SOC seven when you can.
Marcos PadrosGot to Russell behind 0.5, flashing blues for Ricciardo in front.
Marcos PadrosRussell with DRS.
Lap: 53 Position: 2 Lap time: 1’24.154
Marcos PadrosGap to Russell 0.6.
Marcos PadrosRussell behind, DRS.
LeclercConsider plan D. Consider plan D. These tyres are a disaster.
Marcos PadrosCopy.
Lap: 54 Position: 4 Lap time: 1’27.578
Marcos PadrosAnd box this lap. Let me know flap update when you can.
Marcos PadrosAnd box now, box.
Marcos PadrosAnd SOC six, K2 on until turn one.
Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Hungaroring, 2022
Leclerc had to resort to a third pit stop

Neither his team mate nor either of the Red Bull or Mercedes drivers touched the hard tyre or resorted to a third pit stop. Leclerc fell to sixth, his race seemingly ruined, though fifth-placed Sergio Perez gave him something to aim for.

Lap: 55 Position: 6 Lap time: 1’43.455
Marcos PadrosThat’s Latifi, solid blues for Latifi. And slow introduction. FS1 when you can. And SOC six when you can. And expecting some drops for the next two or three minutes.
Marcos PadrosTry to follow the lights. So next car in front for position is Perez, gap to Perez 7.2. And 15 laps to go, 15.
Lap: 56 Position: 6 Lap time: 1’22.687
Lap: 57 Position: 6 Lap time: 1’21.622
Lap: 58 Position: 6 Lap time: 1’21.988
Lap: 59 Position: 6 Lap time: 1’21.762
Lap: 60 Position: 6 Lap time: 1’21.890
Marcos PadrosAnd try to follow the lights.
Lap: 61 Position: 6 Lap time: 1’22.090
Marcos PadrosTyres are okay to push. We just need to follow the lights.
Lap: 62 Position: 6 Lap time: 1’21.897
Lap: 63 Position: 6 Lap time: 1’22.392
Marcos PadrosSolid blues for Ricciardo in front and follow the lights.
Marcos PadrosAnd rain expected for the last two laps. Gap to Perez in front, 3.8.
Lap: 64 Position: 6 Lap time: 1’21.981
Marcos PadrosSwitch position yellow. And six laps to go. Rain expected in one or two laps.
Lap: 65 Position: 6 Lap time: 1’22.325
Lap: 66 Position: 6 Lap time: 1’22.230
Marcos PadrosAnd back to mode race. Perez lap time 22.0.
Marcos PadrosFlashing blues for Tsunoda in front. Four laps to go and press oil but when you can.

Leclerc’s gains on Perez were gradual. However a Virtual Safety Car period late in the race due to Valtteri Bottas’s retirement brought him onto the tail of the Red Bull.

The Ferrari never got close enough to strike, however, and a dejected Leclerc ended the race less than half a second behind Perez.

Lap: 67 Position: 6 Lap time: 1’22.836
Marcos PadrosAnd light rain expected from now on. Bottas stopped at turn 11. And flap update when you can.
Lap: 68 Position: 6 Lap time: 1’45.489
Marcos PadrosSo Virtual Safety Car. Stay out, stay out. And charge button on.
LeclercIs the car all okay?
Marcos PadrosStand by. And switch position yellow. Switch position yellow.
Marcos PadrosFrom data, everything looks fine.
LeclercHow many laps left?
Marcos PadrosStay out, stay out, and two laps left.
Lap: 69 Position: 6 Lap time: 1’34.315
Marcos PadrosVirtual Safety Car ending. Virtual Safety Car ending. It will be at turn four. K2 on.
Marcos PadrosAnd SOC two when you can.
Marcos PadrosSlippery track turn 14. And DRS disable.
LeclercLast lap?
Marcos PadrosLast lap confirmed. Rain reported at turn five, six and seven. Solid blues for Stroll.
Lap: 70 Position: 6 Lap time: 1’24.304
Marcos Padros[Unclear]
Finishing position: 6
LeclercOh my god, the hards were so bad. That’s why I said I wanted to stay on the mediums for as long as possible.
LeclercThe hards were really bad. Was it the same for everyone or was this only to us?
Marcos PadrosIt was the same for everyone with the hard.
LeclercWhy did we go on it? I mean, what was the reason there?
Marcos PadrosWe’ll t…[unclear]
LeclercAre we the only one who stopped?
Marcos PadrosAt the front runners, yes. At the back some people with pit stops.

NB. Some routine or repetitive messages e.g. rival drivers’ lap times and gaps to other cars omitted

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2022 Hungarian Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
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54 comments on “Transcript: Why Ferrari told Leclerc ‘the hard is worse than expected’ but still used it”

  1. What a disastrous team.

    Absolutely no logic to pitting him early for the first stint, if he went 5 to 6 laps longer, he would end up behind Carlos anyways, who SHOULD just move over when a quicker teammate is behind him. They also had the option of putting him on softs for the 2nd stint, which would make sure he would overtake both Sainz and Russell with ease during that stint. Instead they put him on mediums and got him on track with absolutely no gain – He didn’t jump Russell, but managed to gain a useless position on Sainz.

    By the time the 2nd round of pitstops had come around, it was already established that the Hards we rubbish. Proved by Magnussen and both Alpine drivers. Again… zero logic in not extending this stint as long as possible on tyres that were in decent shape. It should have been confirmed in their heads, the only option for them was Med-Med-Soft. But still.. they chose to put him on concrete tyres with Max just 2 seconds behind him on a much faster tyre compound. What did they think? That Leclerc is some kind of superman who would keep Max behind on slow tyres given their straight-line/DRS advantage???

    The way I see it, Ferrari had 3 choices to win the race.. Soft-Medium-Medium, Medium-Soft-Medium & Medium-Medium-Soft. They had one tyre compound to avoid all race (Hard) and one strategy to record the slowest possible race – Medium-Medium-Hard. Of course, they would choose the slowest possible strategy.

    What a joke this team is. The fact that Binotto tried to even justify this decision is ridiculous…. he needs to learn how to admit to strategic mistakes instead of living in some delusional parallel universe. I guess it’s the Ferrari way of never admitting you make mistakes.

    1. They should have considered just doing the opposite to Sainz. He did Medium, Medium, Soft. So maybe Leclerc should have tried Medium, Soft, Medium. He surely would have retained track position then even if the stint was shorter,

      They basically completely ignored the evidence from the other teams on Hards and got panicked by Max’s pace.

    2. I noticed the pit him and gave him used softs seems he didn’t had any new. The most on Softs in the last stint were losing the tyres faster then expected if you see Sainz.

    3. @todfod Their strategy was almost as if it was a Monaco race – just ensure you gain track position over your rivals after the final round of stops and you win. Under those circumstances, covering off Verstappen and Hamilton by pitting early for hards makes sense. But overtaking was very doable in this race, and has even been in recent years in Hungary, so this strategy makes little sense.

      1. @keithedin
        Why they should cover Verstappen when they could run longer with decent pace and attack him later on track as Hamilton demonstrated. Track position is king at Hungary with the exception where the tyre advantage is huge which was the case in the last race. That’s the crux of it, Ferrari are always cornering themselves by being subject to the circumstances created by the other teams. They are never in charge of their own destiny.

        Why on earth cover Verstappen who was forced to stop because his soft tyres expires expired ? The main purpose of the strategy team is to make decisions that allow the car to finish the race in the fastest possible way. Sometimes covering the competition and getting track position can ensure can ensure it, but in no way it has to be the target every time they go on track.

        1. @tifoso1989 – One note Verstappen was NOT forced to stop because of his tryes were expired Red Bull choose that moment for the undercut as he came out in clean air. For the rest i complety agreeing with you. So you can say they were reacting to the undercut the second time was because they were afraid of Max pace on his second set of mediums.

          1. @macleod

            One note Verstappen was NOT forced to stop because of his tryes were expired Red Bull choose that moment for the undercut as he came out in clean air

            Fair enough. You see RBR in this case were creating an opportunity for Verstappen. You can never see that happening in the Ferrari pitwall. Regardless of why Verstappen pitted, Ferrari should have concentrated on their own race. They are always subject to what the others are doing.

    4. @todfod I don’t think your criticism is 100% fair. Yes, Ferrari had a terrible strategy, but hindsight is a wonderful thing.

      You say Ferrari had 3 choices to win the race. Soft-Medium-Medium, Medium-Soft-Medium & Medium-Medium-Soft. I agree that all these three options were better than Medium-Medium-Hard in hindsight, but I don’t think that all these three choises would offer them the win. Soft-Medium-Medium was not perferable. Leclerc did not have any fresh softs left so he would have lacked the optimal performance a new tyre provides during the first laps. In hindsight the Medium-Soft-Medium option would be preferable, but to be fair: normally nobody would go after a strategy like that. Please remember that Leclerc didn’t have fresh softs AND at that point in the race there was no/little proof from other drivers that the hard didn’t work (if I am not mistaken).

      So the most realistic option they had was to opt for Medium-Medium-Soft. But halfway during the race, Ferrari must have realized that that would not grant them the win, so they gambled for hards. And that was not a sensible move.

      1. Please remember that Leclerc didn’t have fresh softs AND at that point in the race there was no/little proof from other drivers that the hard didn’t work (if I am not mistaken).

        Before Charles’ last stop both Alpines, both Haas’ and Both Alfas were struggling, even with the heavier fuel load (easier to get temperature in a tire that is loaded more, but on the other hand you lose more time)
        So, IMHO both Ferrari and McLaren strategists were dead or drunk.

      2. @matthijs

        Can’t agree with you on the hindsight bit… It was obvious to everyone while the race was going on that hards were not a good tyre. They didn’t need to look at the end of the race to determine that. Ferrari just isn’t nimble enough. They’re stuck in their own world while the race is going on. When they have tried to react to in a nimble manner… they’ve made horrible decisions.. such as in Monaco. Which is why I call them disastrous. There’s absolutely no saving grace for any of their decisions.

        1. @todfod You are right, I should have checked the facts better. There were more drivers on the hards when Ferrari pitted Leclerc than I thought. Enough proof that the hards weren’t working.

      3. @matthijs as noted in the article, Ferrari themselves told Leclerc over the radio four laps before he changed tyres that they could see from other runners that the warm up phase was much longer than expected.

        By that point in time, Ferrari would have been able to see data from Magnussen, Alonso, Ocon, Zhou and Bottas, all of whom had switched to the hard tyres before Leclerc’s pit stop and all of whom were experiencing an extended warm up phase – they had information from a sizeable chunk of the grid, and must have been looking at it given they told Leclerc “warm-up with the hard is worse than expected”.

    5. who SHOULD just move over when a quicker teammate is behind him

      Well, he didn’t. And all the flak Ferrari got for decades for no.1 and no.2 roles… although hardly visible on-track. On the other hand, take how quickly moved to the side PER, giving VER a nice tow too in the straight.

    6. @todfod Mercedes seem to have a similar habit of pitting early when the driver says they can go longer and the times seem fine. I often don’t get the logic. Not pitting when you don’t need to can either give an accumulative tyre advantage for the end of the race or leave open the chance of a conveniently-timed SC or VSC providing a big track advantage. Plus there was rain threatening the race, another reason to extend and see what happens.

      1. That is unless it’s a pre-race agreement that “tyres are fine” means “tyres are dead”, to confuse their opponents.

      2. @david-br

        I feel Mercedes keeps it flexible. Hamilton was pitted late, which is why they made the med-med- soft work well. I think their decision making is not set in stone before the race. Sure, they don’t always make the right calls.. but more often than not, their agility in decision making helps them gain positions.

    7. Ferrari operate in fear, they usually throw out their own strategies out the window just to react to what Verstappen is doing, they have no balls and belief in themselves.

  2. (Try to) follow the lights.

    Is that a reference to the gear shifting times?

  3. The strategists don’t have the slightest understanding of anything really.
    Their strategies don’t make sense to their car nor do they base themselves on their opponents’.
    Honestly I think the strategists were trying to mimmick old Hungary strats. They must have watched last year’s race and made a strategy for it. They focused hard on that plan, missing every opportunity to correct their strategy. It was clear, without all the data available, just by watching the race, what merc was doing what was Max doing and after Alpine and Haas proved the hard tyre was not working, anyone could infer the race of everyone.
    Alpine’s strat could have made sense, their mistake was that they should have known the hards would not work, Ham’s surprise to seeing Charles on the hard shows that at least mercedes knew all along they could not use the hard.
    Leclerc with his pace showed Ferrari just needed to keep going, especially on the 2nd stint, but Ferrari ended up sabotaging Leclerc’s race every step of the way.

  4. Looking back at this, there are various things they could have done to avoid this issue. I think they gave the wrong driver the optimal stint. Although looking at Leclerc and Sainz soft tyre stint at the end bewilders me because Sainz could not overtake Russell. However, I think Sainz had plastic on his front wing, affecting the front aero. On the other hand, Leclerc’s soft tyre pace was slower than Hamilton’s pace. They should have also done like what Mercedes does to Hamilton, but this is only because we hear their radios, asking him what tyre he prefers for the next stint. In my view, they should have asked Leclerc what he wanted to do for the next stint because they needed to use a S or H tyre. Or Leclerc should have been more wary and asked why are they pitting him or not pitted at all on lap 39.

    Looking back at this, probably another driver like Hamilton, who does argue a lot on the pit calls, would have argued this call really on the spot.

    1. @krichelle I think one of the fundamental problems Ferrari needs to address is they repeatedly have two similarly quick drivers occupying the same place on the track and costing each other time. They don’t necessarily need to start immediately issuing team orders whenever they get near each other but considering different strategies for their cars at times might help.

      1. You can award CotD to yourself tomorrow ;)

      2. Now, I see why the teams use different strategies. It is a «silent team order ». The safe way to avoid drivers it going all wrong. I have always thought that different strategies are a way to anger the drivers, but in fact, it is for the team’s own good to avoid a crash or time loss. Better to swap through the pit stops.

      3. When Bottas came in to Mercedes, the driver to go out on the track first was always rotated every grand prix (Hamilton and Bottas confirmed that). In addition, the better qualifier usually get the optimum strategy.

        While it is a silent team order, you have to earn it on Saturday. The team order or right of optimum strategy is exclusively owned by a driver who is in WDC race after couple of races but the qualification format remains…

        Maybe Ferrari can try that or maybe they still have more bullets and feet. They can keep shooting. Their plans are almost as plenty as we have the English alphabet; that to me seems like creating a self-destruct button…

        1. Not quite. They alternated selection of which driver goes first. So in Monaco, Bottas elects to go first since it’s safer place to be. Next race is Baku and Hamilton sees he gets advantage from slipstreaming, thus selecting to go second behind Bottas.

          1. Oh yeah… I kinda got it mixed up a bit. you are absolutely right.

          2. And they had been doing that when Rosberg was in the team already (maybe already as early as when they were Brawn? Seem to recall something about that from 2009).

      4. This isn’t really a problem. In sportscars, it is expected and entirely normal for two cars of the same team to simply swap places whenever the other car has better pace at that moment. In such races, it doesn’t make sense to lose time to keep a place as the places are largely irrelevant until the last part of the race when all the stops are done.

    2. Krichelle, that’s a really interesting observation about Hamilton. Yes, he sounds like he is arguing a lot, although the soundbites they use are cherry-picked for a TV audience and are usually very misleading. Whenever I get the chance to listen to the unedited driver audio I am surprised at how calm and controlled those conversations are, and how much info they exchange. Looking at the transcript in this article, LeClerc isn’t giving much at all back to his race engineer, and it seems to be mostly one-way conversation.

    3. bewilders me because Sainz could not overtake Russell

      How come?! SAI did not prove anything so far against the best drivers, unless his car is significantly faster. I’ll find him some excuse this time tho because Ferrari started on Mediums while all the drivers around them started on Softs. Still…..

      1. 12 races in and Sainz wasn’t a factor by his own merits in even a single one.
        Safety cars provided his challenge to Max on Canada and combined with another Ferrari mistake, the win in Silverstone.

        He is a number 2 caliber driver with all means to win and just can’t do it.

  5. Why did Sainz not win this race? He was on the right strategy (MMS) and started 2nd. With hindsight Ferrari made the wrong decission for LEC but the soft tyre was also not the race winner for ferrari. Just look at the pace diff between Carlos and Lewis on soft. Not sure that it would have been better for LEC probably he would have finished higher but the race win? Still don’t understand why LEC asked for the 3th stop and only made it worst. Its probably the same as RB in austria where they couldn’t make the tyres work and lost the race.

    1. This is why I don’t think Binotto was wrong when he said part of Ferrari’s problem was a sheer lack of pace compared to their rivals. I don’t necessarily agree they weren’t quick enough to win the race, but when you look at what Hamilton did on the same strategy as Sainz, it’s clear they weren’t the fastest.

      1. Sainz doesn’t have a race pace to follow Max or Charles, and now Mercedes have a great race trim on mid and low fuel, Sainz just getting eaten alive even with a right strategy…

        1. There are at least 4 drivers with better race pace than SAI (VER-HAM-LEC-RUS). On average SAI is as fast as PER, but each one have outliers days. And I sincerely have doubts if NOR is not faster than SAI, if NOR were on one of the top 3 cars. I dont remember SAI being clearly faster the NOR in Mclaren.
          SAI is a good driver – not exceptional – that looks like good on red and have enough pace not to bring shame to Ferrari by driving too slow (under P6) but not fast enough – like LEC – to force Ferrari to work like a winning team.

      2. A dejected Charles was on similar tires (Used Softs 3 or 4 laps in) about .2s slower than an on-fire Hamilton (New softs, 6 or 7 laps in). On the softs Charles was on average .45s faster than Carlos, with only about 5 laps tire life delta
        Binotto is searching for excuses, but that well is dry. I think Charles is having nightmares in red coveralls instead of a prancing horse.

    2. This is an interesting discussion (the whole thread). I think it’s clear that Max may well have won anyway but there is no way Charles should have not finished 2nd or 3rd with a better strategy.

      Or possibly though it might have been 4th if he had been stuck behind Carlos because, knowing Ferrari they may not have told him to move over!

      1. Absolutely agree @phil-f1-21! Ferrari are not guaranteeing the best possible result for Leclerc on their bad days. The closer Mercs are to the front, the worse it will get for Ferrari to stay in contention because the Mercs will punish them for these errors of judgment on race day.

    3. Sainz didn’t win for the same reason Barrichello was never world champion. He’s just not consistently quick enough.

      One of the problems are Ferrari is that they seem to believe that Sainz and Leclerc are two equally quick drivers. That’s just not what 30+ races at Ferrari have shown. Leclerc is their fastest driver, and whenever there’s a choice to be made that might negatively impact the other driver, the obvious answer is to go with the strategy that is best for Leclerc.

      That said, Leclerc did himself no favours with a lackluster qualifying and failing to take control of his own tyre strategy.

      1. Michael: “Sainz didn’t win for the same reason Barrichello was never world champion. He’s just not consistently quick enough.”

        Well there was also the small matter of Michael Schumacher to contend with. Something I remember noticing back then was that when Schumacher pitted he would stop exactly where the mechanics needed him to be, and Rubens, like most other drivers back then, would often overshoot a little, meaning Schuey’s stops were always faster. It was that sort of professionalism and attention to detail that he brought to the Ferrari team. They need that sort of culture again.

        1. Absolutely, leclerc imo has nothing to envy to anyone in terms of speed, but he is being too complacement about ferrari’s terrible strategies, sainz is questioning them more than him; back in the schumacher era there was ross brawn, so strategies made more sense.

  6. Arrogant with all caps. Just arrogant which is why Sideshow Bob Binotto keeps saying they are making all the correct choices.

  7. When Bottas came in to Mercedes, the driver to go out on the track first was always rotated every grand prix (Hamilton and Bottas confirmed that). In addition, the better qualifier usually get the optimum strategy.

    While it is a silent team order, you have to earn it on Saturday. The team order or right of optimum strategy is exclusively owned by a driver who is in WDC race after couple of races but the qualification format remains…

    Maybe Ferrari can try that or maybe they still have more bullets and feet. They can keep shooting. Their plans are almost as plenty as we have the English alphabet; that to me seems like creating a self-destruct button…

  8. Second time in 4 races Leclerc had his race ruined because Sainz was slow ahead impending his progress and the team under pressure because of that, made dumb calls

    They then pitted him early just so he could come out ahead of Sainz.

    All the trouble they had on this race was because they refuse to use team orders.

    Look at Baku, when Verstappen was behind, what happened. That’s what would have happened have Ferrari placed their bet on thei fastest driver.

  9. Everybody seems to be ignoring the lap times. While Leclerc said he could do 7-8 more laps on the first stint, on his 21st lap Charles was two seconds slower than on his 20th. The tyres had gone.

    When Charles stopped the second time, he could not have got to the end on softs. Probably his only better option would have been softs and stopping again for whatever softs he had left at that point. Could have perhaps got fifth.

    For whatever reason, and we certainly don’t know, Mercedes and Red Bull had faster race cars that day.

    1. His second stop was too early. He said the tyres felt better and he was faster man on track on those and in free air.
      And what Ferrari did? Cut the stint short to put on the tyres everybody had problems with. Geniuses.
      He had a 7 second gap to Verstappen, who would pit and have to do 30 laps on those tyres, so he would need to manage them for a while.

      He would need to pass Verstappen to win and very likely would.

      Ferrari wasn’t slower than Mercedes by any means. Carlos was.

    2. Lap 21 was his in lap. Most drivers seemed to lose around 2 seconds in their in laps compared to their previous lap so Leclerc’s tyres weren’t gone.

    3. Don’t look at In-laps… you lose time in the pitlane.
      On lap 19 Charles did a 83.9 compared to the 83.7 from Carlos. He would’ve lost the track position, but gained a tire offset had he done 5 laps more on his first set. The 21 laps first stint was short. The 18 laps on his second set of Mediums was utter non-sense: If they planned such a short stint, they should’ve gone for the softs and tried to get as far as possible to see what tire to fit for the last stint.

      The Soft was good for 16 to 22 laps on average, the Medium lasted 28 to +32 laps without performance drop.
      The Alfa guys did 26-27 laps on the start-medium and had a drop of less than half a second between lap 6 and lap 22 (averages of 4 laps, 2 before, 2 after)

  10. Sainz is sometimes as quick as Leclerc but is slower and inept in overtaking and racecraft than Leclerc. Like Bottas versus Hamilton. Ferrari should always favor Leclerc and are paying the price for not doing so.

    1. Yes, see for example how leclerc passed russell and sainz didn’t, I even predicted it during the race because leclerc struggled enough already with that overtake and mercedes is now not too far behind.

    2. In the opening laps Leclerc should have been let through to attack George. Instead Sainz made no progress and the field stayed bunched up behind the Merc, leaving Max perfectly in range of Charles.
      Ferrari also told Charles to look after his mediums and then pitted early with plenty of life left in them. Absolutely shocking race management.

  11. Sergey Martyn
    5th August 2022, 19:10

    if the show isn’t going well, let’s send in the clowns in red costumes!

  12. This article confirms what we’ve know for a long time. Ferrari doesn’t have strategists, they have pizza chefs from all over Italy who like to each add a certain topping to the pizza, whether the customer, in this case mostly Leclerc, like it or not.

    1. Pizza chefs would have been smarter than this. You can random select someone for F1 fans from all over world and he and the odds he would do a better job.
      It is actually difficult to be worse than this.

      And someone already made a “Ferrari Strategy Generator”…

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