E s was a dark day for Ferrari - even with fourth place on the grid for Sebastian Vettel. Only the crash of the four-time world champion in the third training session. Then Vettel is almost eliminated in Q1 because he grazes the guardrail in the swimming pool chicane. And just in his second attempt to save himself in Q2, Charles Leclerc fell through the grid at the same time and missed the entry into the next qualifying section.
Leclerc demands explanation
The Monegasse landed only in 16th place. Because Antonio Giovinazzi received a penalty for three starting positions, he moved up to 15th place. But that doesn't matter in Monaco. Overtaking is almost impossible in the principality. Qualifying almost more important than the race. And that's where Leclerc was sitting in the pits and his name kept slipping down the ranking.
Leclerc was visibly annoyed and asked his team for an explanation. “I asked twice whether you were sure that there was enough time. You said 'yes. I don't know how that could happen. We would have had enough time to go out again. I now expect an explanation. For tomorrow only rain or a crash will help. You can't overtake here. ”
The clarification to the press followed at 6.10 pm by Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto. No media round was originally planned, but the Italians had to react due to the many inquiries. Binotto first squeezes through the crowd in the Ferrari Motorhome and then explains: “We calculated the cut-off time incorrectly,” he says. This means the lap time that has to be shown on the display in order to progress safely. “When we calculate the cut-off time, we actually have some leeway, apparently that was not enough. The second mistake was that we didn't correct this cut-off time and didn't react to it. ”
Binotto knows that these are fundamentals that shouldn't happen to a top team like Ferrari. He tries to justify the incident with the pressure that one currently has due to the dominance of Mercedes. 'We are in a situation where we have to catch up and you have to take risks,' he says. “Otherwise we would have had to sacrifice a second set of tires that we could have used in Q2 or Q3.”
Did Ferrari take too much risk?
This explanation doesn't sound very conclusive, however. Don't you always have to play it safe on a street circuit like Monaco, which has unpredictable situations? And theespecially in qualifying, where the starting position is actually almost the result of the race? Thanks to the risk strategy, there is ultimately the greater damage. While some are of the opinion that there must be consequences, Binotto takes his team under protection: “We have the right people and the right procedure. We just have to improve. ”