Insight: Key indicators that show whether Ferrari favoured Vettel in Monaco F1 GP
Insight
Strategy Report
Posted By: James Allen  |  30 May 2017   |  2:49 pm GMT  |  350 comments

Looking back over the last few years’ Monaco Grands Prix, a pattern emerges, where controversial strategy calls have decided the race outcome.

When it is so hard to overtake, the decision-making is critical.

Last year it was Red Bull’s misstep on Ricciardo’s strategy and then an error in the pit stop itself, in 2015 Lewis Hamilton lost the race on a bad strategy call, in 2014 he was angry because Mercedes stopped both cars on the same lap behind the Safety Car, giving him no chance to challenge.

This year Ferrari had their drivers 1-2 in the grid, but the driver who took pole ended up losing the race on a strategy call, to his team mate.

As the winner was the driver on whom Ferrari is basing all its hopes of winning the world championship, then apparently the rationale becomes clearer.

But did they really favour him at Raikkonen’s expense? Or was there more to it than that?

There has been a huge amount of interest in this story and hopefully here, with a deep and careful analysis, taking in the private views of several of the F1 team strategists who were active in the race, we will get to the bottom of it.

Monaco GP 2017

Theory 1 – Ferrari favoured Vettel over Raikkonen

Although they are not open about it, Ferrari’s ethos has long been that the drivers’ championship is what matters to them, not the constructors’.

They have less need to worry about the financial aspects than other rivals, who prioritise maximum team points scoring in races because the constructors’ table is what pays the prize money.

Mercedes’ ethos is always to get the maximum team score, but also to win the race, but to do that they would not sacrifice one car and have that driver finish fourth instead of second as a result. Ferrari would and they have done it as recently as China with Raikkonen.

So is that what happened here in Monaco?

Raikkonen was leading the race and the rule in Monaco is when leading don’t be the first one to make a move.

There was no real pressure from behind from Mercedes or Red Bull, even though Max Verstappen had just pitted to try to undercut Bottas. Raikkonen still had margin.

He was catching up to Marcus Ericsson in the Sauber; as he came through Turn 18 on his in-lap to the pits on Lap 34 he was 2.2 seconds behind the Swede, so he would have caught him on Lap 35 and may have taken some time to pass him.

At the same time Ferrari strategists would be looking for the gap that Raikkonen would be dropping into after his stop and it looks like they believed he would clear Button and have just Wehrlein to pass on his out lap. Another lap or two and he would have easily cleared both, but he would have encountered Ericsson anyway, so it’s swings and roundabouts.

Kimi Raikkonen

The tyre performance was clearly dropping off; Raikkonen was doing 77 second lap times and had begun to back his team mate Vettel into Bottas in third place.

The radio traffic made clear that both team and driver felt the tyres were near the end, probably down to around 25% left on the rears. The team strategists have access to a data screen that plots the tyre degradation lap by lap and other strategists could see Raikkonen’s deg curve clearly.

However, strangely, on the lap before he pitted, Raikkonen’s middle sector was 35.799s, which was four tenths faster than his previous laps. That would normally get your attention and indicate that there is potentially something left in the tyres and some strategists, under no pressure to stop, would leave him out.

As the team operates a policy of the lead car having the pit stop priority, perhaps what Ferrari should have done is ask Raikkonen what he would like to do and let him make the decision.

They didn’t do that, made the decision for him and he pitted. His in lap was slightly slower than Vettel did later, as was his stop itself and on the out lap he encountered traffic – losing around 1.5 seconds clearing Button and Wehrlein. He passed Button in Sector 2 of the lap and Wehrlein in Sector 3.

Vettel stayed out, found great pace over five laps and managed to pit and come out ahead, which many think is what Ferrari intended all along.

Further evidence for this theory is that Ferrari did not do in the first stint what a team would normally do when seeking a first Monaco win since 2001 and ask the second car to drop back several seconds from the lead car to hold the field up to protect the lead car against Safety Cars and other risks. (They did do this in the second stint to protect Vettel’s position, with Raikkonen dropping back.)

Sebastian Vettel
Theory 2 – Vettel won the race himself, not because Ferrari gave it to him

There is no denying the fact that Ferrari would have wanted to give their lead driver the extra seven points to make a maximum 25 on a day when his main title rival Lewis Hamilton was struggling and scored just six points.

And although that was the outcome, there is another theory about how they got there, which is that Vettel won the race in a way that no-one could have predicted.

Vettel was faster on the day and had he been stopped first he would have undercut Raikkonen. The data shows that. You can also look at Verstappen’s out lap from the pitstop on new Supersoft tyres to see that Vettel would have been even faster and would have undercut Raikkonen.

So if it was pure cynical pragmatism to get Vettel ahead, that’s what Ferrari could have done, clean and simple.

At this point, because Vettel had been sitting behind Raikkonen, Ferrari would have no clarity on what the degradation curve on Vettel’s tyres looked like – because he wasn’t running at his own pace. So they would not know what his potential pace was. This was also true for Ricciardo in the Red Bull, who did the same thing as Vettel, also with a positive outcome.

What actually happened was that once Raikkonen stopped, Vettel cleared Ericsson and then over the next five laps pushed hard. The first three laps were faster than Raikkonen had been managing; on Lap 34 he did 76.5s, then 76.4s and 76.2s, which shows that he was working out the best operating window for the tyres.

Sebastoan Vettel, Monaco GP 2017

What was astonishing were the next two laps, when he found the sweet spot; 75.5s and 75.2s. This is two seconds faster than Raikkonen had been doing before his stop on worn ultra softs. Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo did something similar.

No-one operating in the F1 pitlane on Sunday would have seen that level of performance coming, even Vettel himself didn’t see it coming. He just pushed for all he was worth in the hope that it might give him a chance to win.

Actually the reference showed that Raikkonen was still on schedule – despite the traffic with Button and Wehrlein – to be ahead of Vettel at the start of Lap 37.

What swung it Vettel’s way was those two laps 37 and 38 which were in the 75 second range that meant when he pitted on Lap 39, he came out just ahead.

Anyone who tells you they could see the pace on those two laps coming ahead of time is lying. It was an astonishing performance and it won him the race.

Kimi Raikkonen
Conclusion

Our conclusion is that this is one of the most fascinating scenarios we have encountered in the UBS Race Strategy Report since it began in 2011 and you can convince yourself either way depending on your own theories or biases.

There are a couple of things that don’t add up in Ferrari’s behaviour, which hint that Ferrari favoured Vettel, such as pitting him into traffic and also that quick middle sector for Raikkonen just before he stopped that hinted that the tyres still had some life in them.

But our conclusion – having spoken to insiders, the drivers concerned and strategists involved in the race with deep knowledge of the tyres and what they were doing – is that Ferrari got the outcome it wanted, but on this occasion favouring Vettel wasn’t what they set out to do when they triggered Raikkonen’s stop on Lap 34.

Daniel Ricciardo
Red Bull pincer movement on Bottas

This was not Mercedes’ weekend; apart from Free Practice 1, they had problems all weekend with the tyres, getting them into the right operating window and paid a price for it, with fourth and seventh at the chequered flag.

Bottas did a wonderful job in qualifying to bag third place, but in the race he suffered with his tyres and was a sitting duck as a lone player against the Red Bull pair. Red Bull did what they often do in these situations; they split strategies with Verstappen trying the undercut and Ricciardo the overcut. If Bottas had stayed out, he would have been undercut.

Verstappen’s plan failed because his pit stop was a shade slow, due to poor position in the pit box. Ricciardo went long and, like Vettel, found good pace in the tyres to jump both Verstappen and Bottas for third place.

The UBS Race Strategy Report is written by James Allen with input and data from several F1 team strategists and from Pirelli.

Race History & Tyre Usage Charts

Kindly provided by Williams Martini Racing, click to enlarge

The number of laps is on the horizontal axis; the gap behind the leader is on the vertical axis.

A positive sign is an upward curve as the fuel load burns off. A negative sign is the slope declining as the tyre degradation kicks in.

Raikkonen’s tyre degradation is clear at the end of the first stint, as it is for Bottas. Look at the astonishing pace of Vettel and Ricciardo on used ultrasoft tyres, once they clear the cars ahead.

On the Tyre Usage chart observe that, once again, the third Pirelli tyre compound, the hardest of the three, was unused again. This has been the case at most rounds.

The three tyre compound rule, which gave plenty of intrigue and interest last season, is simply not working this season as the tyres are too hard.

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1

Vettel won fair and square, end of.

2

Strange, strange…
Strange, how a myth perpetuates itself, how everybody jumps on the bandwagon and no one accepts evidence to the contrary.
The myth? “(In Monaco) ultrasofts will only last till about lap 30-35”.
If you subscribe to that (and everybody appears to do so) you will agree to the following:
– Max’ undercut opposit Bottas was the right strategy at the right moment (kenneth, adrian).
– Kimi maybe could have done more to protect himself against VET’s overcut.
– the fast laps (around 33-38) put in by RIC and VET were absolutely amazing and totally unexpected.
James Allen certainly subscribes: “No-one operating in the F1 pitlane on Sunday would have seen that level of performance coming. Anyone who tells you they could see the pace on those two laps coming ahead of time is lying. It was an astonishing performance (…)”
I must be a strange customer because I DID see it coming, and neither am I lying.
I maintain that the ultrasofts could be expected to last (way) into the 40s laps, at least for Ferrari and RBR. Mercedes were struggling. I sure expected this to happen, and it changes the whole complexion of the game.
Now the story becomes:
– Max’ undercut hardly was the ‘preferred’ strategy. It was the right strategy but at the wrong time (lap 32). It should have been applied at around lap 40-42. Now, regardless of the move’s success, Ricciardo was the only one bound to profit, whereas VER and RIC could have outmaneuvered Bottas completely if RBR had been more patient.
– Kimi was called in at lap 34, condemning him to lose by the same argument.
– the fast laps put in by RIC and VET were selfevident and to be expected.
The race History map appears to vindicate my opinion. It’s not just VET’s and RIC’s curve that are steep at lap 37. Take a look at HAM’s curve (the blue one). After he gets into free air (lap 36) he’s doing fine on his ultras. The curve is inclined upward and only levels off at lap 40-42. Remember, Merc wasn’t exactly great with its tyres.
So, how to interpret this? If you’re on the bandwagon then this is yet another unexpected drive – now we’ve got 3 of them. I’d rather apply Occam’s razor: of two scenarios the one using the least assumptions and coincidences is likely to be the correct one.
Scenario A. US last until lap 35 max. Amazing performances by RIC, VET and HAM beyond lap 35, totally against all odds.
Scenario B. US last until about lap 42 at the least. No amazing performances, just amazing tyres.
Take your pick.
Frankly, I don’t doubt there were indications of some tyre degradation around lap 30 say. But I couldn’t care less: we’ve seen that before and it turned out that the new Pirelli ultras lasted longer than expected. We should not let us befool by that once again.
Don’t expect Arrivabene and Horner to change their minds. They have had awkward explanatory sessions with Kimi and Max, they will not be interested in any reinterpretation.
Kimi and Max might be, however.

3

I just want to add one more crucial thing to this story. Even if we all agre to Vettel Winning the race no matter Ferraris intensions or strategy, with I obviosly dont. The crucioal poit here is that, and that is what, if I understand you correct James Allen, is that Ferrari did some moves that helped Vettel or favored him, or more importantly they did not favour Kimi (they could have let Seb back the field or just let Kimi decide and other things). If that is so then Kimi had not first priority, he had not the best strategy, support and so on as he should as polesitter. Thats my point here and that meant he was’nt given the best chance to win the race, it enything it compromised it. What Seb did fast laps and so on we can leave aside for a moment. Who knows what laps Kimi would have trowed in if given the same opportunity. we will never find out. But my guess is if Ferrari had given all the priority that comes with pole he had won the race.

4

It should not be needed a complicated story to tell what happend, or understand it. It simply was not possible to pass Kimi (by Vettel) in normal conditions had he had the favorable strategy, called first priority. If Lierty mean what they say then this is what needs to change. No doubts about faul play, just consistency (even though some will always find conspiracys, but the are few and far between, albeit loud). But looking at it in a sober way it’s hard to see that this was not a conducted race from Ferraris strategists. We would not be talking about this if Kimi had pitted last, it seems most people are convinced,even before the race that the overcut is the way to go. Either way with low tire deg you stay out as long as you can i the streets of Monaco, traffic, heating up the tires turbulent air and so on. If we had had the other way around, Vettel had pitted first, I cant see how we could have this same discussion. That says a lot.

5
Charles Robinson

This was a fantastic read! I only started following F1 about five years ago, not really knowing anything about it, so I’ve been keen to learn as much as I can. This site, and especially the strategy reports here have consistently been the most interesting and informative F1 journalism I’ve found. I’d say this one was the most interesting to date, not only because of the reactions to the race result, but because the evidence is a little ambiguous, and there are plausible defences of both interpretations of Ferrari’s decisions. Given the data available, I think the conclusion of the article was very reasonable.

Personally, while I was rooting for Vettel, I would have loved to have seen Raikkonen win this one. Those two fast laps Seb put in, however, seem to have sealed it for him.

I also hope that the rest of the season stays close between Ferrari and Mercedes. I’ve never been a fan of Hamilton (I’ve found him more likeable this season), but he’s undeniably a phenomenal driver, and (assuming both teams maintain the kind of form they’ve had over the last six races) if he wins the WDC, it will have been very well-earned!

6

Well done to Ferrari on getting the 1-2 finish it’s an awesome result & the goal was successfully achieved regardless of which driver won! I think it’s a good problem for Ferrari to have when both drivers can be in a position to win rather than just having Seb to fight against the Mercs on his own & Kimi’s nowhere near them failing to help the team.

I like Kimi but Seb is obviously faster, is able to get more out of the car & much more consistent. Kimi needs to do much better with the great package he has as 4th places aren’t good enough. Kimi’s side of the garage gave him a good car all weekend & he pulled his finger out to get pole which was a great result for him & the team. However, in the race he was outpaced by Seb as the data & laptimes show & lost it. No one could’ve predicted the overcut would be more effective here nor Seb being able to put out those blistering laps once in clean air. The overcut also worked for Daniel so I don’t think that the strategists were geniuses & that clever to predict that. Still think Seb would’ve been able to win the race with an undercut.

Kimi was heard on the radio asking if they were going to pit or not – seems that he wanted to pit as per the plan that the lead car pits first. He was struggling with pace even before reaching the backmarkers then had to pass them plus him having a slower pitstop than Seb didn’t help either & to only lose out to Seb coming out of the pits with such a small margin isn’t something that I think Ferrari could orchestrate.

7

I guess that what this article gets to very well is the subtleties that are at play in strategy, that we don’t really see when the race is going on in our living rooms. And, full credit to James and the strategists sharing their information, because I think it is making the Strategy Report an ever-improving product (and it has always been very good).

Overall, I wouldn’t say this was the most fascinating strategic race we’ve seen since 2011 but I can see the fascination that would arise from the subtleties and their misleading directions (I too found it fascinating!). I still take away from this that Ferrari gave Vettel the chance to win. Raikkonen pitted to cover off Bottas and Verstappen so they were guaranteed a Ferrari lead; they asked Seb what he could do speed-wise. He was immediately quicker than Kimi before his stop (but not after his stop). But then he nailed the 1m15s laps to get out ahead, and he needed them. So I do also agree that Vettel went out and made it count. But yes it can be interpreted in different ways and there are strong cases that can be made either side.

8

‘Perhaps FERRARI should have asked Kimi what he would like to do, and let him make the decision”.
According to autosports race commentary Kimi asked his pit wall if its time to stop, and then FERRARI pit wall called him in.

9

James, good with two theories! Nothing to fight about!
Do you think there is a risk that Kimi will end his F1 career?
Why I ask, suddenly Giovinazzi gets P1 tests with Haas!?

10

In Barcelona BOT held up VET to the benefit of HAM. While in China RAI was allowed to race the quicker VET and that may have cost VET a race..So who exactly is using team orders and who is not ? And let’s for a moment go back to Bahrein.. Can you imagine if Ferrari had put the wrong tyre pressure on polesitter RAI and then asked him to let VET pass without a fight because naturally he would be struggling, and VET won the race? Can you imagine the press (British at least)? Because that’s EXACTLY what happened in Bahrain with the 2 Mercedes boys. Ferrari are just doing what it takes to win. For those who don’t like VET it seems unfair, but for neutrals it makes total sense. And for the press, i just hope next time Bottas is pushed aside or sacrificed for the sake of Hamilton, they will put the same effort in their analysis.

11

After reading many comments and analyzes, I thought l would visit the concerns again.
Still think that, while Ferrari surely did not mind seeing Vettel up front, it was not orchestrated as such. I feel that Raikkonen could have held on to the win had he push above what he did.
Prior to his stop you would be tempted to believe that he could have upped his pace for 2 to 3 laps, that assuming he knew he would be pitting on the lap he did of course. He did not up his pace or not in the way Vettel did once freed. He, Raikkonen either could not or choose as a strategy to back up Vettel into the ones behind. Why would he do that? That surely would not endear him to Ferrari, jeopardizing a 1 2 for the team. I mentioned this because I read a couple of comments to that effect and while l don’t believe it, it still needs consider l think. What over reason can you give him for not going faster at the end of his first stint?
Maybe he simply could not and in this case again Ferrari had to pit a driver to cover off by then Ricciardo who was on a charge, and by so not given a top 2 podium away. Most people some well informed and some not so, tend to believe that the undercut was not the best strategy. Based on what I have seen, it seems so. Usually the leading driver in most race gets to pit first, or maybe is given priority on the call. Kimi was called in, some say that he asked if he was going to anytime soon, and then was called in. i did not hear that during the race or in the radio transcript l found so don’t know for sure about that. That would indicate that he wasn’t told ahead of time which in itself is weird. To be fair I did not read in the same transcript Vettel being given the information ahead of time either. Maybe that is just how Ferrari do it, no Hammertime warning.
We know what happened then, Vettel pulled a few fine laps and came out a couple of seconds ahead of Kimi. Race decided, Vettel#1 treatment at Ferrari a given now for many, even Hamilton whom did not seem to find it ironic for him to bring it up. The main reason given is that, to be fair, Ferrari should have brought Vettel in the following lap, which many of the same people hated the past few years whenever Hamilton, him again, was not given the opportunity to adapt his strategy to try and get ahead of his teammate. Ironic again is it not?
We could see the event as Ferrari letting their drivers dice it out on their own or as in favoring one over the other. I go with the former myself.
Last, I can understand that many of Kimi’s fans are less than please at the whole thing, but fair play to the many that see it as Kimi not having the pace to favor his own fortune. it actually looks like more of the Hamilton’s fans than the ones of Kimi, are showing outrage. Ultra soft coming again in Canada right? If Vettel wins that one I wonder what he is going to be accused of this time. Marc

12

Wonderful analysis, James!

Question – are you going to the Canadian GP? Yes? It would be my first F1 attendance ever. I’ve been a fan of your work for a LONG time. Are you open to have a brief meet & greet session of your own after Friday afternoon to say hello to those of us here who are going? It would be super if you do. Thanks in advance.

13

Regardless of the conclusion Ferrari robbed Kimi of the win. For sure if Kimi or anyone else was on pole an in the same situation they would have won even if the person behind was faster. its monaco . Thats just disappointing . i dont expect kimi to beat vettel over the championship , the age gap is too much in current f1 , but to rob him where he actually has done everything required to win is disappointing. IN 2015 kimi actually told he was ready to support vettel for the championship if necessary , but this was not required.

14

Kimi was not robbed, he didn’t have Sebastian’s pace and that’s why he lost.

15

I looked at another one, that came out like this!
Lap Raikkonen Vettel
30 1:17.105 1:16.636
31 1:17.074 1:17.166
32 1:17.663 1:17.052
33 1:17.034 1:17.188
34 1:34.039 1:16.592
35 1:19.518 1:16.446
36 1:16.114 1:16.264
37 1:16.133 1:15.587
38 1:15.606 1:15.238
39 1:15.527 1:32.673
40 1:17.709 1:18.650

Raikkonen would later confirm after the race he hadn’t requested to stop. “I was called in and that’s about it,” he told reporters.

Vettel beats icy Kimi in Monaco

Nor was there any meaningful threat of Raikkonen being ‘undercut’. Valtteri Bottas, the only car in the top five at that stage in the race to have previously pitted, was over 25 seconds behind – around six seconds more than is required at Monaco for a car to pit and emerge ahead.

Moreover, the Mercedes was running slowly after switching from ultrasofts to supersofts: Bottas’ first full lap on the slower of the two Pirelli compounds was a 1:17.783 – almost eight tenths of a second shy of Raikkonen’s final lap on ultrasofts.

16

I love watching F1. But this past weekend, I found that I enjoyed the Indy 500 much more. I really hope Alonso gets a good car next year because it’s such a waste of talent in the current car.

My wife who occasionally watches the races with me was so excited that her super friends (i.e., Super Aguri) won the Indy 500. I couldn’t break her heart by explaining that 1) they are different formulas and 2) Super Aguri doesn’t exist anymore. Maybe she’ll watch the Montreal race with me as well.

17

Thanks to James for the analysis, and for looking at both sides of the coin. There seems to be a consensus that Vettel got the better strategy – whether deliberately or accidentally.

But that doesn’t mean they ‘engineered it’, as such. There might have been logical reasons for Ferrari’s management to hope quietly for a Vettel victory (the same 43 points in the constructors’ championship regardless, and a better outcome in in the drivers’ championship), if it could be achieved without them taking each other off or having to overtly order Raikkonen out the way.

But even so, Ferrari didn’t ‘fix’ the result in the same way as they did in Austria 2002 – by deliberately getting the cars to swap places. On this occasion, they split the pitsop strategies (as Mercedes also did occasionally back in 2014 when running 1-2) and opened up a window of opportunity for either driver to win, rather than just favouring their leading car. What gave Vettel the victory was his own pace at that moment – it could easily have gone the other way if he hadn’t made it stick.

In other words, Ferrari gave Vettel an outside OPPORTUNITY to leapfrog Raikkonen, but what made it happen was that he delivered five blisteringly perfect laps when the chance was there. Even then, he only JUST emerged ahead of Raikkonen by a few car-lengths.

Sentimentally, I thought it would have been nice to have seen Raikkonen return to the winner’s circle. But if Vettel had continued to circulate at the same speed Raikkonen was going at before the pitstops (1.17), he’d still have been miles behind when they reconvened. It was the fact that he was able to go faster and didn’t put a wheel out of place at the right moment that gave him the win. As such, it’s difficult to argue that he didn’t deserve it.

18

in my simple, unscientific opinion… Vettel and Ricciardo accepted after lap one that there wouldn’t be an opportunity to pass unless there was a safety car and chose to take it marginally easier on their tires. When Kimi who had opened up a solid lead, used up all the love in his tires, it forced him into pitting first and Vettel was able to use his advantage of slightly less used tires and clean air to open up a gap – complimented by Kimis slower outlap.
No conspiracy, just motor racing. Bad luck for Kimi who was flying all weekend.
Ricciardo benefited when Max’s strategy concerned itself with Bottas and Daniel was able to utilise the extra life he had preserved in hjs tires to sneak ahead in the same manner as Vettel.
It’s a shame that the most exciting news out of this race weekend was a “Vettel conspiracy” when really what we all know is that it was a total borefest around a circuit that is virtually impossible to pass on (as proven by anyone who attempted a move)
I’m pretty sure if this race were held at Imola, we all would have much more interesting things to talk about after the race. In fact, Alonso’s absence was the highlight of the Monaco weekend. He chose the right race to be in. Let’s all just agree to make Monaco a non-championship event in historic f1 cars with a few guest drivers from days gone by and get these f1 cars onto some real racing circuits.

19

(no)Marbles, you wrote “When Kimi who had opened up a solid lead, used up all the love in his tires, it forced him into pitting first and Vettel was able to use his advantage of slightly less used tires…”. Everyone knows that the car that follows uses more of its tyres as it slides more. How come SV used less of his tyres? Get as scientific as you can “marbles”, I will enjoy reading it.

20

James, I guess you tried to be objective. However, you wrote “Vettel was faster on the day and had he been stopped first he would have undercut Raikkonen. The data shows that. You can also look at Verstappen’s out lap from the pitstop on new Supersoft tyres to see that Vettel would have been even faster and would have undercut Raikkonen.” I find this statement strange. KR was faster or as fast as SV whole weekend. What data shows that SV was faster? You say that the data of MV shows that SV would have been faster if he stopped first. I don’t get it. MV lost to DR because DR stayed out. Why do you presume that KR would have stopped immediately the next lap after SV stopped? So that SV would overtake him? Sorry but this is strange logic. Your statement does not hold water. SV would have encountered the same traffic that KR encountered. The fact remains that Ferrari knew that after the pit stop KR will join the race behind two slow cars and that SV will have clean race track ahead of him. If the situation would have been opposite, would they have left KR out five laps after SV went to pit? Despite everything KR came very close to SV when SV left the pits. Therefore, how can you claim that KR was slower than SV? I don’t say you are biased but I think you buy too much into what the “insiders” say. The insiders may be biased. Who knows. Finally, Ferrari has the full right to order the drivers any way they want. It is just that they want everyone to believe that this happened because SV was faster, which on the day was not true.

21

+1,
He offered up nothing to back up that conclusory statement.

22

What I miss in F1 is the freedom of drivers and mechanics to speak freely without “politicians who stand behind and record everything they say, like the old Soviet era!
More spice, think of what Mansell, Irvine, Senna would have said the same sitiuation as Kimi! So colorful F1 could be!
Now drivers are coached to become politicians and diplomats, to serve the team and brands!

23

agreed! wouldn’t it be great to see KR’s engineer face the press in a situation where he could speak freely!!! All we get is carefully guarded sound bites. I still prefer old clips of F1 races over anymodern race no matter how many times I see them.

24

Then, Kimi’s mechanic would say; – I was so angry, it was not my call, I wanted him to stay out for at least 3 more laps! I could see that he would come out in traffic with that call! I could also see that his tire came back to life on the last lap.
If I was in charge Kimi would have won the race !!!

25

James, thanks for the excellent feature – it’s always difficult to read the strategy calls while watching the race and Ferrari’s choice was meant to be controversial.

Can you or anyone tell me, why Sergio Perez pitted so early in the race? That wrecked his race after a fine Quali performance… and before a race lap record. We had an advert break when it happened and I was left in the dark.

26

James, do you cross paths much with Leo Turrini? (thinking the top echelon of F1 journalism might be a small world?) – according to him, being a Ferrari insider, there were no team orders “because I know what I’m talking about and because we were only in the 6th race.”

This seems to chime right historically, Ferrari usually letting their drivers race early season and only later favouring their lead if it becomes critical.

Funny, considering the ensuing furore following Monaco, that Turrini also mentions Il Drake, Old Man Enzo, said “se facciamo primo e secondo, io non accetto obiezioni” => “if we’re first and second, I do not accept any objections”.

27

I think Ferrari was covering Bottas with Raik, even though Raik was P1, and Ricciardo with Vettel. Just to guarantee their 1-2 finish, regardless of Vettel finishing 1st or 2nd. Ferrari prefer security to risk usually. Even 2nd Vettel would still gain a substantial advantage over Hamilton.

28

Could it be that Kimi cost’s himself by being more uncommunicative during a race?
We do see that Vettel doesn’t like being challenged in the same team really and
probably puts in double the hrs to make sure he has every advantage.
KR is probably past that amount of commitment at work.
Would be the start of tension elsewhere but I think KR is realistic and may be setting himself up for another year at ferrari.

29

They wanted Seb to win, full stop. No way if it was the other way around and Kimi started P2 they would have left Kimi out there if they knew the overcut was going to put him in front of Seb. Seb would have gone nuts if he started Pole and the team got Kimi around him on the over cut. Would never, ever happen

It’s simple. they should have pitted Vettel the next lap and all is fair. They saw Bottas, Verstapin and Kimi were either in traffic or slower on the SS tires. If Vettel comes in next lap they hold their one ,two. they wanted Seb to win.

30

And? You think getting a poll today is gifting a race win tomorrow. Well, Kimi had to do better, he was slower than Seb, full stop. Wouldn’t be sad Kimi to get a win just because he was the poll man?

31
AntonioCorleone

People here, especialy Kimi and Lewis fans, who are complaining about Ferrari strategy are actually saying that Ferrari should have stoped Vettel from winning the race. They expected that they go on the radio and say slow down Seb cause you gonna pass Kimi. Hilarious

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