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Ferrari explain thinking behind terrible Leclerc gamble

Ferrari explain thinking behind terrible Leclerc gamble

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Ferrari explain thinking behind terrible Leclerc gamble

Ferrari explain thinking behind terrible Leclerc gamble

Mattia Binotto offered little by way of excuse after Charles Leclerc was left to pick up the pieces from a ruinous qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix that will see him start his home race way outside the top 10.

Leclerc was eliminated in Q1 after Ferrari kept him in the garage for the closing stages of the session as times began to tumble on an ever-improving track.

The 21-year-old was ultimately put into the drop zone by team-mate Sebastian Vettel, who scraped through at the last, having hit the wall on a late-session flying effort.

Leclerc had earlier missed a call to the weighbridge and had to be rolled back to the right spot, although there was more than enough time for him to have had another run, and Binotto says an attempt to save tyres was borne out of a growing need to gamble in their fight with Mercedes.

"We may argue that at Ferrari these mistakes shouldn't happen," Binotto said at a hastily arrange press conference. "At Ferrari we are facing a situation where we need to catch up points in the championship, we need to catch up to our competitors.

"When we catch up we need to take some risks as well.

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"But no doubt that when you look at all of that the implication of not [being] in Q2 is even bigger than trying to challenge them in the final part of quali three. "

With Vettel scrambling to make it through, much attention was initially on the German before it dawned that Leclerc was in trouble, but Binotto says this was not the case in the Ferrari garage.

"We've got two full teams, one per driver," he said. "We didn't compromise at all. The threshold was the same for the two drivers.

"On the one side we had the necessity to go out. Charles asked from his cockpit 'should I go out, I think it's a bit too marginal, we may be at risk'.

"We replied 'no, we've got the data, and we believe that's good enough'. It wasn't.

"When you've got tools and simulations you should somehow trust what you're doing.

"We were fully cautious that it would have been tight, but our tools were telling us it would have been good enough.

"We were taking risks, too many risks, [that were] not worthwhile in such a situation. It's a misjudgement. And a misjudgement is a mistake."

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