Formula 1

Binotto Looking to Understand the Process of Leclerc’s Q3 Intermediate Tyre Choice

2 Mins read
Credit: Scuderia Ferrari Press Office

The under pressure Mattia Binotto has called for an enquiry within his Scuderia Ferrari team to understand why Charles Leclerc was put onto intermediate tyres during Friday’s Qualifying session ahead of the São Paulo Grand Prix when everyone else was on the slick tyres.

Leclerc took to a dry track with the intermediate tyres and was well off the pace on his first flying lap before being pulled into the pits to swich to the slicks.  Unfortunately, the Monegasque racer was unable to get a flying lap in on the right tyres as George Russell spun into the gravel trap to cause a red flag, during which the rain did come.

Binotto, the Team Principal at Ferrari, would like to understand why Leclerc was given the intermediate tyres on a dry track whilst his rivals were on the right tyre, although he does understand that with variable weather conditions, it was always going to be a bit of a lottery to see who went the right way with strategy.

“Obviously, when you’ve got such weather conditions, it’s always a lottery,” said Binotto to Motorsport.com. “I think the fact that Kevin [Magnussen] was on the pole, with [Lewis] Hamilton eighth on the grid and [Sergio] Perez ninth, it’s a lottery, no?

“But we made it wrong, because certainly we are the only one on intermediates at the time, and not on slicks.

“Those types of mistakes I think, in such a lottery situation, they always happen. Plus those mistakes can turn into the right decision as well, because it’s only a weather change that maybe a minute after was simply happening.

“But, what I’m looking at, together with the team, was 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, and why are we doing that when maybe the others didn’t?” 

It was the latest in a number of strategy errors Ferrari have made during the 2022 FIA Formula 1 World Championship season, and it has seen rumours that Binotto is set to be replaced as Team Principal ahead of the 2023 season by current Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN Team Principal Frédéric Vasseur.

However, Ferrari have released a statement saying this rumours are unfounded.

“In relation to speculation in certain media regarding Scuderia Ferrari Team Principal Mattia Binotto’s position, Ferrari states that these rumours are totally without foundation.” read the statement on Tuesday.

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