Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto has explained the reasoning for not swapping the positions of Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel earlier, not once but twice, during the Spanish Grand Prix on Sunday, which proved to be another abject outing for the team.
F1's slow death proves change is needed nowRead more
Almost immediately after Lights Out, Vettel complained of a tyre blister on his wheel which eventually cost him vital seconds, but it took Ferrari until lap 10 to order him to let Leclerc past.
Then, later on, Leclerc was allowed to retain his position ahead of Vettel on hard tyres even though the German was looking faster with the benefit of having brand new medium tyres after a pitstop.
Binotto has rhetorically asked whether they swaps should have been made earlier, but is content with the decisions.
"Should we have swapped earlier? I think it is a never an easy decision," said the Italian.
"But we have proved as a team that since the start of the season we are trying to optimise our team result at the end.
"We have swapped in the past, we tried to swap again today, especially they were on different strategies at that stage. Should we have done it earlier
“By the time you do it, you need to make sure that the driver behind has got enough pace. Otherwise you are swapping and not having any result. It may take a few laps for us to assess that."
Binotto went on to explain that part of the reason for the delay in the swaps was because Vettel and Leclerc were on two different strategies during the GP.
"Charles was fighting for third place with Verstappen because he was on a different strategy with the hard tyres with a single pitstop," he added.
"So it was also important for him to not lose any lap time at that stage of the race. We simply waited until the right moment and I am not sure we should have done it earlier."
Vettel went on to finish third in Barcelona, with Leclerc in fifth.