Carlos Sainz Jnr, Ferrari, Monaco, 2023

Vasseur ‘not disappointed at all with the risks Ferrari took’

2023 Monaco Grand Prix

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Ferrari team principal Frederic Vasseur was satisfied with his team’s strategy calls in the Monaco Grand Prix despite concerns raised by their drivers afterwards.

While Charles Leclerc started sixth and finished there, Carlos Sainz Jnr fell from fourth on the grid to eighth at the chequered flag.

Following the race Leclerc said the team paid the price of waiting a lap longer than several of their rivals to pit for intermediate tyres. He said they gambled on the possibility of the Safety Car being deployed, which would have allowed them to lose less time in their pit stop.

Sainz queried the team’s calls during the race, complaining he was brought in too soon. Followed the race he said Ferrari “need to review” the calls they made. “I don’t know from the outside how did it look. From the inside it looked like we maybe we could have done differently but also now it’s easy to say.”

Gallery: 2023 Monaco Grand Prix in pictures
Ferrari tried to dupe Alpine into pitting early by calling Sainz in and then cancelling the instruction. They eventually brought him in after Ocon, but failed to get him ahead.

“Maybe the timing of the first pit stop caught me a bit by surprise when I was on green or purple sectors on that in-lap,” said Sainz. “But I had to manage my tyres a lot, I was ready to push and over-cut Ocon. We tried to do the over-cut, he was clearly ahead.

“Then the second pit stop probably a bit due to frustration from the first, I tried to extend a bit more and see of the rain was stopping but we got it wrong and I lost a lot of time.”

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However Vasseur said the team made the right calls, including the decision to switch both drivers to the medium tyre compound after starting on hards. He said they had to respond to the threat from drivers behind who had pitted.

Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin, Monaco, 2023
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“At one stage we had to cover the other ones on-track to avoid to lose positions,” Vasseur told media including RaceFans. “It’s always easy to do the race after 5:30 and say ‘if you extended the stint then you can change the tyres when it’s raining’. But we didn’t know at this stage and we were in the situation to lose position compared to our competitors.

“It’s the same for Carlos – at one stage Carlos jumped on the radio to say ‘why we didn’t extend?’ But we were in the situation to lose position with Hamilton and you know that the position on track is crucial in Monaco.

“You don’t want to lose position because even if you have better tyres at the end, even if you are in much better shape, if you are behind, you are behind.”

Sainz spent much of the first stint stuck behind Ocon, making contact with the Alpine at one point, and was unable to jump ahead of his rival when he made his first pit stop.

“I think the first stint went pretty well for the team except that we were stuck behind Ocon,” said Vasseur. “Carlos tried one or two times, but it was a bit optimistic clearly. But we were I think in a good position on track and with decent pace.”

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Drivers such as George Russell benefited by waiting until the rain came, then not delaying his pit stop. Vasseur admitted the extra lap his drivers stayed out compromised their result, but said it was a risk worth taking.

“We lost the position on Russell during the pit stop because he extended the first stint and the rain came when he had to stop. And we didn’t lose position [by trying] to extend the stint and we were expecting that the track won’t be so wet.

“Then at one stage if [we didn’t] have to put the wet [tyre on], we could have finished on the podium. But it was a gamble for us. The risk was not too high because we didn’t lose position.

“But it is like it is. We knew perfectly on the grid that if we want to achieve something, we have to take risk. And I’m not disappointed at all with the risks that we take.”

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2023 Monaco Grand Prix

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    Author information

    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...
    Claire Cottingham
    Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

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    8 comments on “Vasseur ‘not disappointed at all with the risks Ferrari took’”

    1. I see the old Ferrari is back. That happened faster than I expected.

      1. @losd after 2008 F1 has been a show with Ferrari on the main role.

        Season 1 (2009) – End of an eventfull era
        Season 2 (2010) – Spanish Matador
        Season 3 (2011) – Spanish Matador 2 Revenge
        Season 4 (2012) – Spanish Matador 3 Ultimate Fighter
        Season 5 (2013) – Spanish Matador 4 The Worlds End
        Season 6 (2014) – Return of the King
        Season 7 (2015) – A New Family
        Season 8 (2016) – Fighting Spirit
        Season 9 (2017) – A Decade Later
        Season 10 (2018) – The Last King
        Season 11 (2019) – A New Messias
        Season 12 (2020) – The Plague
        Season 13 (2021) – The Plague 2
        Season 14 (2022) – New Chapter
        Season 15 (2023) – The Wind rises

        1. It’s hard to choose favorite season but for me after halfway through season 5 it has been a downhill ever since. First seasons were much more serious but like Walking Dead more isn’t merrier. They did so well but even though they tried it has been more of a comedy than a thriller.

          1. Of course the original series (1984-1998) is a totally different show.

            1. @qeki Hehehehe, good one.

              I mainly meant the “oh no, that wasn’t a mistake, we totally meant to do that, just the circumstances ruined A GREAT PLAN (please don’t fire me)”. But yeah. It hasn’t been pretty.

      2. That was my first thought. They had 2 cars in the podium mix and didn’t offset strategy at any point, probably to stop their divas whining about preferential treatment. Big contrast to Mercedes who had possibly the fifth fastest car that weekend and finished 4th and 5th and should have been 3rd and 5th without a mistake by Russell. Maybe they need to just get in a junior 2nd driver if they can’t manage their drivers.

    2. Dixit Sainz Jr.:

      “Maybe the timing of the first pit stop caught me a bit by surprise when I was on green or purple sectors on that in-lap,”

      Yeah, that’s where you lose opportunities, and it’s where Red Bull definitely, and arguably Mercedes as well, are much clearer: if there is discussion about a strategy, it is had before the time to act comes, so that when the moment comes, odds are everyone knows the goal and what to. Sure, when things are chaotic and unclear sometimes it doesn’t work (and Merc. did have some odd strategic happenings over the years) as well, but at Ferrari that really seems to happen even if things are relatively normal still.

    3. As a mclaren fan, I still feel like I can say that Ferrari are the biggest joke in formula 1.. it’s almost becoming suspicious at this point

    Comments are closed.