It comes as it should: Leclerc goes swimming with it mercilessly, easy prey for World Cup rival Max Verstappen. While the world champion – despite starting from tenth place and spinning in the race – is celebrating his eighth victory of the season, Ferrari’s championship position is moving forward with fourth place for Sainz and sixth place for Leclerc.
The Scuderia wanted to bounce back after last weekend’s disaster in France before the summer break. Instead, there is the next fiasco strategy.
Drama in two acts: As Max Verstappen pulls into the pit stop on lap 39, Ferrari follows Leclerc in panic. The problem: Because each driver has to use two different tire components, the Italians face a problem: the Dutchman started on the soft tires and therefore can wear the medium tires twice at the end. So far, Leclerc has only driven with a medium ball, so he still has to use soft or hard tires. But the distance to the end is too long for a smooth compound. By necessity, the Scuderia chooses hard. And with that, Leclerc slips from the microphone.
“We had everything under control,” he sighs. “I don’t know why we changed to hard. I really wanted to stay on Medium for as long as possible.” He even said this to his race engineer on the pit radio. Leclerc: “I was happy with the pace, but the last part of the race was a disaster. I slipped all over the place. We lost the race there.”
After his crash in France, however, the Ferrari star held back and took the blame: “Of course we will talk about it, but we will do it within the team.”
The conversation is very much needed, because the command post makes the first mistake worse for an act of desperation: Leclerc is ordered to return to the pits in the last phase, and then he finally gets soft tires, but this also means that he falls back to sixth. place. Astronaut Ralf Schumacher: “The last station is completely incomprehensible. As a result, they gave two more positions.”
So the German relies on team boss Mattia Binotto for the first time this season: “I see two people’s jobs at risk.” In addition to Daniels (Ricciardo, McLaren driver; ed.) Also Mattias. If you get the gift of being able to drive for the world championship with a Ferrari and throw it away, it’s painful and it should be difficult.”
Binotto doesn’t cut a good figure later either. “It will be a few hours before we understand what went wrong,” he admits, and blames the car. “Regardless of the tires, the performance of our car was not as expected. When the car is not going well, it is difficult to have the right pace and hold positions on the track.”
self-criticism? Nothing! Binotto shrugs his shoulders: “Recently we had the right strategy in France, in Austria too, so most of the time we are right. Sometimes we make mistakes, but others do too, they don’t look too closely.”
The air is getting thin for Binotto. Leclerc is 80 points behind in the drivers’ championship. The traditional team from Maranello already has 97 points short of constructors. Mercedes is already lurking in third place, 30 points behind. “Our team is good and I support it because I believe in it,” muttered the Italian in light of Hungary’s disaster and the World Cup’s honest table. The question remains: how long will Ferrari still trust Binotto?