MONTE CARLO, Monaco – Ferrari's team principal Mattia Binotto admitted that Charles Leclerc was unsuccessful in the first qualifying session of the Monaco Grand Prix due to a misjudgment of the pit wall.
Leclerc qualified 16th for the race on Sunday (but finishes 15th thanks to Antonio Giovinazzi's penalty), having missed the Q2 cut by just 0.052 seconds. The Ferrari was comfortably fast enough to make it into the top 10 qualifying sessions, but the team decided not to send it for a second try in the first quarter to ensure it made the cut for the second quarter ,
This decision was based in part on the reluctance to blow another set of fresh, soft tires that Ferrari had hoped Leclerc would rescue him later in the session, and partly on a misjudgment of where the closing date for the second quarter would be.
"It's certainly not a good day for us," said Binotto. "I think we made a mistake because we called it what happened today, it was a misjudgment, a misjudgment of what we call a time limit, the time limit is the threshold to which we are have probably felt. " In the next session, the cutoff time is calculated in real time, based on what we see on the track, based on the real time sectors of all competitors, on all drivers.
"When the cutoff time is calculated, we usually add a margin over it and the margin is good enough to tolerate tolerances and uncertainties, whatever happens during the session What happened today was certainly that the margin we applied was insufficient, and the reasons are undoubtedly two – the first is that the track improvement at the end of the first quarter was very significant and important, the second is probably ours Margin I did not consider enough variability because the drivers were probably confident that they would be driving through Monaco, and it is clear that in Monaco this margin must undoubtedly be increased in the future.
"It is not enough to calculate a time limit To apply travel. But in Monaco, the scope of today's experience just has to be bigger. It's that simple. They are the base [factors]. "
Binotto said that the team took a risk by not making a second run in the first quarter, but stressed that the risk was based on Ferrari's belief that an additional set of new tires would be necessary for Leclerc later
"We can argue that this as Ferrari is a mistake that should not happen," added Binotto. "As Ferrari, we are facing a situation where we score points in the championship you have to catch up compared to our competitors and if you have to catch up, you also have to take some risks. By taking the margin. "Anything we do today to get a margin would mean using a second set of tires to skip a Q2 and Q3 set of tires.
" For us today, it's safe to say a few Taking risks to improve performance as best we could to somehow challenge our main rivals in the third quarter, along with Charles and Seb. But undoubtedly, the importance of getting started in Q2 is even greater than trying to challenge them in Q3 during the last part of qualifying. "
Sebastian Vettel, Leclerc team-mate, was also at risk of being eliminated Q1 after crossing the barrier at the swimming pool chicane in his first flying lap: his banker's round was just 0.186 seconds after initial attempts slower than Leclerc's, and within those 0.186 seconds, Ferrari recognized his safety margin – slow with Vettel and Leclerc fast enough.
When Binotto was asked if Ferrari was focusing too much on Vettel and not enough on Leclerc, the team boss replied : "No, no, not at all. We have two full teams, one for each driver, so we made no compromises. The threshold was exactly the same for the two drivers. Of course we had to get out on the one side and on the other side …
"By the way, Charles asked from his cockpit if I should go out, I think it's a bit too marginal, maybe we answered: No, we We had the data and we thought they were good enough, it was not like that.
"We should have overruled [the data]. We dont have. I think if you have tools and simulations, you should trust what you do. So we were very careful that it was tight, but our tools told us that it was good enough. In the beginning it's a misjudgment, and misjudgment is a mistake. "