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Ferrari offer full explanation behind Leclerc Monaco mistakes

Ferrari offer full explanation behind Leclerc Monaco mistakes

Ferrari offer full explanation behind Leclerc Monaco mistakes

Ferrari offer full explanation behind Leclerc Monaco mistakes

Ferrari strategy director Iñaki Rueda has offered a full explanation behind the team's mistakes that cost Charles Leclerc victory in his home grand prix in Monaco.

In the build-up to Sunday's race, Leclerc was comfortably the quickest driver on track, duly delivering the 14th pole position of his F1 career.

But with the rain that started to fall just before the race and led to a 65-minute delay, the 24-year-old's hopes of success were washed away in tandem with strategic mistakes from Rueda and his team.

The upshot was a bitter fourth behind race winner in Red Bull's Sergio Perez, with Ferrari team-mate Carlos Sainz second, and Max Verstappen third.

"With Charles, we made two mistakes - the first was to cover Perez," said Rueda.

"While with Carlos we realised very late on his lap we could not cover Perez, with Charles we had a big gap and we thought we could cover Perez.

"At the start of lap 18, Charles had over a 10-second advantage on Perez. We thought this advantage would shrink because Perez, on intermediate tyres, was much faster than Charles on the extremes.

"We had looked at other people, we had live data from the cars, and we thought this gap would shrink from around 10 seconds to five, four, three at the worst.

"As we were coming in we saw that 10-second gap shrinking - seven, six, five, four. As Charles is coming through the swimming pool, the last timing reference we had indicated he would come out one second ahead of Perez.

"What we did not expect was Perez to go nine seconds faster overall in that lap, and because of this, we lost the race with Charles."

Ferrari 'doppio' failure

Rueda has conceded the team's second error was another relating to gapping, and a double-stack stop - known in Italy as a 'doppio' - as Leclerc was brought in behind Sainz.

The realisation of what was unfolding before him led to Leclerc letting out a cry of frustration over the team radio.

"We wanted to pit both cars onto dry tyres, and on lap 21, we thought the track was good for dry tyres," said Rueda.

"At the same time we were bringing Carlos in to try to keep the lead of the race, we thought 'Let's bring in Charles to try to undercut Perez so we can finish P1 and P2'.

"As we were coming in, we were looking at our tools and our gaps, and the gap in between our cars was five seconds - it was time for a doppio.

"A comfortable doppio is done with six seconds in between the cars but we thought five and a half seconds might be enough.

"As the cars got closer and closer to pit entry the gap was narrowed, and in the pit entry, the gap was only three and a half seconds.

"We made a last-second attempt to try and tell Charles to stay out but it was too late. He had already veered into the pit lane.

"In this doppio, Charles lost two seconds. It was crucial. Why? This is what allowed Verstappen to come out ahead of Charles a lap later."

Rueda concedes he and Ferrari left Monaco with a "bittersweet taste" in their mouths, recognising they "did some very good things", but also "some other things we're not so proud of".

In conclusion, he added: "We've gone back to the factory, analysed what we did right and wrong, updated our tools, our procedures, and we make sure we come back stronger from this experience."

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