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Ferrari explain blunder which screwed Leclerc in Abu Dhabi qualifying

Ferrari explain blunder which screwed Leclerc in Abu Dhabi qualifying

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Ferrari explain blunder which screwed Leclerc in Abu Dhabi qualifying

Ferrari explain blunder which screwed Leclerc in Abu Dhabi qualifying

Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto explained away a strategic blunder at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, which saw Charles Leclerc fail to beat the chequered flag in Q3, putting it down to the Scuderia trying to take risks in qualifying.

Neither Leclerc or Sebastian Vettel seemed to be in the fight for pole position, with Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes dominating, as is their custom in Yas Marina in the V6 Hybrid era.

Ferrari put Vettel and Leclerc onto the track last of all in Q3, in an attempt to take advantage of track evolution, but the plan fell flat.

Leclerc did not make it past the start-finish straight before the chequered flag fell, while Vettel made an error at Turn 1, and they could not improve.

The second row will house both red cars at the start of Sunday's race, with Leclerc starting ahead of Vettel, but Binotto brushed off the importance of another strategy error from his team.

"We knew we were not competitive today, especially losing a lot of time in the last sector," Binotto told Sky Sports.

"I think on the last attempt we tried to do whatever we could taking some risks – so as well the track at the very last minute, with track improvements – so being the last going out of the garage.

"Going out we knew it was really tight, but that was a cautioned choice, but too tight for the track that we found and we screwed up.

"I think here we were completely aware and cautious of what could have been the risks. It was a risk that we knew we had taken but it didn't work today."

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