Monaco Grand Prix ‘a race of mixed fortunes’ for Ferrari – Mattia Binotto

by Paul Hensby

Mattia Binotto says the Monaco Grand Prix was a race of mixed fortunes for Scuderia Ferrari, with the highlight being Sebastian Vettel finishing second for his best result of the season so far.

The downside came on the other side of the garage, with Charles Leclerc being forced to retire with damage after attempting to make early gains through the field after the miscalculation from the pit wall during Qualifying on Saturday left him starting the race from fifteenth on the grid.

Vettel was in sight of the leaders throughout the race but was unable to get close enough to Max Verstappen ahead of him to fight for second on the road, but a penalty for the Dutchman for an unsafe release in his pit stop promoted the German to second in the final result.  Vettel had already gained third place thanks to the damage caused by Verstappen to Valtteri Bottas, who was forced to pit for repairs after being pushed into the pit wall by the Dutchman.

Leclerc on the other hand made early passes to run ahead of both Lando Norris and Romain Grosjean but struck the wall at Rascasse while attempting the same move on Nico Hülkenberg as he did on Grosjean just a lap before, half spinning him around but more importantly causing a puncture.  The tyre delaminated on his way back to the pits, leaving him with heavy damage and a car with a decreased amount of downforce, and it was not long before he was retired.

Binotto, Ferrari’s Team Principal, was able to take positives from both Vettel’s and Leclerc’s races, with the former getting the most out of it despite starting fourth, and the latter showing his never say die attitude in his bid to move forward and score points.

“Given that he started fourth, Seb’s second place is definitely a good result on a track where it’s well known that overtaking is very difficult,” said Binotto.  “He ran at a good pace throughout the race and did an excellent job of managing the tyres, which wasn’t an easy task today.

“Charles had a strong start, knowing that he’d have to fight his way up the order after his race was compromised by what happened in yesterday’s qualifying,” said Binotto.  “It was a good getaway, but being aggressive always carries a risk.

“He pulled off some nice passing moves, but on his last one, maybe he tried just a bit too hard. But that’s the right attitude. He proved that he is not the sort to ever give up or surrender.

“So it was a race of mixed fortunes and now we are already preparing for Canada”.

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