During the French Grand Prix, the production aired a radio exchange between Ferrari and Carlos Sainz during lap 41, in which the Spaniard refused instructions from Riccardo Adami, his race engineer, asking him to do a second lap pit stop
But at the time of the broadcast, Sainz was battling Sergio Perez’s Red Bull for third, leading some viewers to believe the Scuderia had given their driver an order just as he was doing his best to overtake the Mexican on the track
However, Ferrari recalls that these radio messages are never broadcast live except with a slight delay. It therefore explains why the situation was probably confusing to some observers.
“The data provided by the television is relayed with a delay”, Ferrari’s head of strategy, Inaki Rueda, said in a video released by the team.
“In this case, you could see Pérez and Carlos fighting each other on lap 41. We were talking to Carlos. We saw that he couldn’t pass Pérez on the long straight and at corner 10 we asked him to come in. “
“Obviously he was fighting Pérez and he thought he would pass him in the next lap. And that’s why he was telling us ‘I’m not going to this lap’.”
“If you look on TV, the message was broadcast at turn 15, just after entering the pit lane, which made no sense because with such a late call, how could the driver react?”
Stopping Sainz for the second time was the right decision
If Sainz ended up stopping for the second time, after the race he felt it was a strategic mistake on Ferrari’s part. But Inaki Rueda explains that it was necessary to equip the Spaniard with new tires, as he was equipped with mediums when his opponents were rolling with hards.
“The life expectancy of the average tire was 25 laps, and the period after the safety car would have lasted 35. So we were 10 short. When the driver exceeds the life expectancy of the tire, he has to take care driving very slowly with the risk of a possible puncture”.
“A puncture is potentially very dangerous because you will definitely end your run in a barrier.”
Ferrari had even fewer regrets because with a 5-second penalty for Sainz after a Scuderia pit stop deemed dangerous, it would have been very difficult for him to compete with Sergio Perez and George Russell at the end of the Grand Prix.
“Even if Carlos had managed to pass Russell and Perez, he would never have been able to create a 5-second gap to them by having to save their tires. Taking this information into account, we decided to stop him and make sure that can. get the point awarded for the fastest lap of the race.”
Rueda contradicts Horner: Leclerc had the right strategy in France
If Christian Horner assured that Max Verstappen could have won in France even without the abandonment of Charles Leclerc, Rueda is not of that opinion.
“Charles did a great job of keeping Verstappen back and Max had stopped very early. We thought that would be the case, and Charles was willing to ignore it and focus on his own race. But he didn’t do. Unfortunately it didn’t end. that.”
“We were confident that Charles could have stopped six laps later, so he would have had a better pace than Verstappen and could have overtaken him to win.”