A Good Old classic Ferrari comedy of errors: Given a couple of decades of humiliation, the perception that Ferrari were the arrogant Red Italian team entitled to be up front in F1 has all but dissolved.
Ferrari for most F1 fans are now a loveable Italian outfit who we don’t mind winning races and even a championship or two.
Yet part of Ferrari heritage is the often repeated calamities where the team snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
Remember the team starting on intermediate tyres on a dry track in Japan 2018?
Then there was Monza 2018 when the team made Vettel give Kimi a tow in qualifying resulting in him, not Sebastian the championship contender, claiming pole.
Of course one of the iconic images from F1 in Singapore is of title contender Felipe Massa heading out of a pit stop trailing about 30 metres of silver fuel hose behind him.
The list isn’t endless, but definitely one for the more encyclopedic collaborators to compile rather than list here.
Today loveable Ferrari once again cocked it up. Red Bull were way quicker and it was clear the best Charles LeClerc could do was finish P3.
Tyre wear was not particularly an issue today with most teams completing 40 laps on the dry medium compound after starting in the wet on intermediates. Yet in the closing stages of the race, Ferrari surprisingly called LeClerc in.
The speculation was then that Ferrari’s tyre wear was problematic. Other theories proposed by TV commentators were that the team were going to try and give Charles fastest lap; even that he might have a run at beating Perez.
Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto was asked why Ferrari had pitted LeClerc after the race.
His response is both bemusing and amusing simultaneously.
“It was not a necessity for tyres, we didn’t do that for the fastest lap. We did that because we thought it was the best option for us and try to create some opportunity. We knew Red Bull would react [as they did] so we would be again everyone resetting on new tyres.”
So Ferrari pitted LeClerc ‘to create an opportunity”. The first result was a slower pit stop than Perez which gave the Red Bull driver an advantage.
This pit stop could also have gone wrong, a say a wheel gun sticking and suddenly LeClerc is losing places.
Ferrari knew Red Bull would copy them as they were in effect free pit stops – so why take a chance?
In the end it all mattered nothing. LeClerc made the mistake he did at the chicane. Christian Horner believes he was pushing so hard there to make the DRS activation line in that section and made the mistake.
If Ferrari are to win a title f any kind, they have the drivers, the car and the PU – but they need to stop being so…. well….. so….. Ferrari