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Ferrari has "no regrets" over rare Leclerc error

Ferrari has "no regrets" over rare Leclerc error

F1 News

Ferrari has "no regrets" over rare Leclerc error

Ferrari has "no regrets" over rare Leclerc error

Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto has insisted there are "no regrets" over the aggressive strategy that led to Charles Leclerc's costly spin at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

Leclerc narrowly missed out on sprint victory at Imola as title rival Max Verstappen made a move for the lead on the penultimate of the 21 laps.

The championship leader then struggled to get off the line in the grand prix and was overtaken by Lando Norris and Sergio Perez into Tamburello.

Monégasque Leclerc fought back to overtake Norris for third and continued to pressure the second Red Bull throughout the race but was unable to overtake Perez when switching from intermediate tyres to slicks.

After a second stop for soft tyres, Leclerc again hounded the Mexican before getting 'greedy' on the kerbs at the Variante Alta which pitched the Ferrari into a barrier.

Leclerc was able to salvage sixth after initially dropping to ninth after pitting for a new front wing and another set of tyres.

Asked if he had any problems with the order for his driver to push in tricky conditions, Binotto replied: "There is never a regret asking a driver to push. It's part of their job to drive to the limit. It happens.

"These cars on the kerbs are a lot stiffer and if you make a small mistake, you pay for it quite a lot. But no regrets. We made the right choice."

Ferrari believed in "opportunity to attack"

Leclerc's switch to softs late on allowed Perez the opportunity to pit and cover off his advances, whilst also providing Verstappen with a free pit stop to protect his fastest lap bonus point.

With strategies often tailored to waiting until the penultimate lap to attempt to steal the fastest lap, Leclerc's early stop was a surprise.

Asked if tyre degradation was an issue, Binotto was adamant his driver was "not running out of tyres".

"I think maybe at that point of the race Sergio was similar or slightly better," he added. "It was because we believed there was an opportunity for us to attack

"So we did the pit stop, hoping they would stop as well, so they were both on new tyres, like resetting the race with 15 laps to go.

"It worked pretty well because Charles was close to Sergio and he tried to attack before he made the mistake."

On whether the later stop was ever considered, Binotto said: "Maybe, but for us, at that stage, it was more important to attack and to stay ahead of Sergio.

"We saw there was an opportunity, a possibility, and we went for it."

Additional reporting by Ian Parkes

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