“In Formula 1 you have to be brave and you have to take risks to get a few more points. The choice to stop is the right one, if the team had the courage to take risks, I’m happy. It didn’t go well, but we were unlucky with a broken sensor and a minimum infringement of 0.1 km / h”. This is how Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto commented on the late pit stop made by the Italian side with Charles Leclerc in the Belgian Grand Prix at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps.
Scuderia Ferrari decided to call the Monegasque driver back to the pits in the penultimate lap of the race to mount soft tires and go to for an attempt to set the fastest lap of the Belgian Grand Prix held by Max Verstappen. Charles Leclerc was not sure about this strategy, but he returned to the pit lane. On the exit lap he was attacked and passed by the Alpine of Fernando Alonso, responding in the final lap with the fresh soft tyre, but at the end of the race, as well as not being able to lower Max Verstappen’s lap time (six tenths the difference despite the more performing tire and the empty tank) there was also came a five-second penalty for speeding in the pit lane: as a result, Charles Leclerc still finished in sixth place, behind Fernando Alonso.
“At the end of the race we saw that the window had opened to try to beat Max Verstappen’s fastest lap – explained Ferrari strategy director Inaki Rueda in the usual post-race analysis – so we called him back to the pits on the penultimate lap to fit soft tires. This move did not go according to our plans. We missed the fastest lap by six tenths and took a penalty for speeding in the pit lane. If we don’t try to seize these opportunities, however, we are no longer racers”.
At the same time, Inaki Rueda emphasized the excellent pit stops performed during the Belgian Grand Prix, a ‘fundamental’ aspect that had recently seen Ferrari make some mistakes in this area: “We made five pit stops and all of them were very quick. The fastest of these went within a tenth of our record this season” – the Ferrari strategy director concluded.
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