Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Interlagos, 2022

Ferrari examining process which led to Leclerc tyre choice “mistake”

2022 Brazilian Grand Prix

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Ferrari admitted they made a mistake by sending Charles Leclerc out on intermediate tyres at the start of Q3 at the Brazilian Grand Prix, which led to him qualifying 10th.

The other nine cars in the final segment of qualifying all used slick tyres as the track was dry, though incoming rain was threatening. Leclerc failed to post a flying lap in the session.

The team’s incorrect tyre choice was compounded by a late call to bring Leclerc back in for slicks, which was made after he passed the pit lane entrance, meaning he had to complete a second lap on his intermediates. A subsequent stoppage due to a red flag and worsening track conditions once the rain arrived meant Leclerc ended the final phase of qualifying 10th and last.

Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto admitted they hadn’t made the right call for Leclerc, but pointed out it could have turned out in their favour had the rain arrived sooner.

“Obviously, when you’ve got such weather conditions, it’s always a lottery,” he explained. “As seen by the fact that Kevin [Magnussen] was on pole or [Lewis] Hamilton eighth on the grid and [Sergio] Perez ninth. It’s proving it’s a lot.

Race start, Interlagos, 2022
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“But we made it wrong, because certainly we were the only one on intermediate at the time and not on slicks.

“Now those types of mistakes I think in such a lottery situation, they always happen, and those mistakes can turn into the right decision as well. Because it’s only the weather changing that maybe a minute after wasn’t really happening [that could make the decision correct].”

Ferrari will scrutinise the decision-making process which led them to split the strategies between Leclerc on intermediates and Carlos Sainz Jnr on slicks, said Binotto.

“What I’m looking at is, together with the team, what’s the process that brought us to such a decision, which I think is more important rather than the decision itself. Was it right or wrong? Why are we doing that when maybe others didn’t?”

The team has faced criticism on several occasions this year for its strategy calls, notably in Hungary where Leclerc led the early stages until the team switched him onto the hard tyre compound, which did not perform as well as they expected.

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Ida Wood
Often found in junior single-seater paddocks around Europe doing journalism and television commentary, or dabbling in teaching Photography back in the UK. Currently based...

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13 comments on “Ferrari examining process which led to Leclerc tyre choice “mistake””

  1. I’m glad they accepted it was an error and not an incredible brainwave or whatever.

    1. @wsrgo

      “Now those types of mistakes I think in such a lottery situation, they always happen, and those mistakes can turn into the right decision as well. Because it’s only the weather changing that maybe a minute after wasn’t really happening [that could make the decision correct].”

      They didn’t 100% admit it was a mistake. They always have to throw a clause in. Bunch of clowns.

  2. Whenever Ferrari make one of these mistakes my first thought is “This strategy decision brought to you by AWS”

  3. Whats the point of these statements by Ferrari. They could spend the next 2 seasons just examining and looking in to every mistake they made in the 2022 season… and yet they would learn zero from it. The only way forward for them is let Binotto’s head roll along with the strategist’s.

  4. But it wasn’t a lottery at all. Every. Single. Other. Car. including Sainz were able to look at the radar and see that for at least the first couple of laps, the track would be dry enough for slicks. Yes, the rain may have come but it would take a lap or two before the crossover for inters. They screwed up not just in the call for inters, but the delay in getting him off the inters. And now are compounding things by seeming the use the weather as an excuse.

  5. It is called sabotage.

  6. It was such a lottery that they were the only ones who made that mistake.

    And obviously, they aren’t going to do anything about it. They say they will only to appear they are a serious organization, which everybody already knows, at the moment they aren’t.

  7. I forget which commentator said it, but they said you need to put on the tires for the track conditions that exist and can’t worry about what the future track conditions are.

  8. The ban on tyre blankets can’t come soon enough for Ferrari. Then they might be able to tell them apart…

    1. lmao – good one mate

  9. Binotto once again with silly excuses like if all people around him are id*ots.
    If it was a lottery why everyone bar Leclerc Ferrari were in slicks?

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