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 on the pit wall.
Leclerc qualified 16th for the race on Sunday (but is 15th due to Antonio Giovinazzi's penalty) after missing the second-quarter average by just 0.052 seconds. The Ferrari was comfortably fast enough to make it to the top 10 shooting ranges of the qualifying, but the team decided not to send it to a second try in the first quarter to make sure it was 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 second-quarter deadline 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 real-time cutoff time is calculated based on what we see on the track, based on the real-time sectors of all competitors and all drivers.
"When the cutoff time is calculated, we usually add a margin and the margin is good enough to compensate for tolerances and uncertainties whatever happens during the session." Certainly, what happened today was the margin, the we did not apply. " Enough for very little, and the reasons are undoubtedly two – the first is that the line improvement at the end of the first quarter was very significant and important, the second is that our margin probably did not take into account enough variability due to the possible confidence of the drivers In Monaco, this margin must undoubtedly be increased in the future.
"It's not enough to calculate a cut-off time to apply a margin, but in Monaco, the margins we have today are just going to be bigger." It's that simple. They are the basic factors. "
Binotto said that the team had taken a risk by not completing a second run in the first quarter, but stressed that the risk was based on Ferrari's belief that an additional set of fresh tires was needed, so Leclerc later in the second and third quarters could compete against Mercedes.
"We can argue that Ferrari is a mistake that should not happen," Binotto added. "As a Ferrari, we face a situation where we need to score points in the championship, catch up compared to our rivals, and if you have to catch up, you also have to take some risks by taking the margin." Everything we do today would mean using a second set of tires to skip a set of tires for Q2 and Q3.
"For us today, it is certainly a challenge for our main competitors in the third quarter, along with Charles and Seb, to take some risk to get as good as possible in Q2 and Q3, but if you look at that, that is undoubtedly the consequence of Getting into Q2 is even bigger than trying to challenge them in the final part of qualifying in Q3. "
Leclerc's team-mate Sebastian Vettel was also in danger of failing in the first quarter after overcoming the barrier at the swimming pool chicane in his first flying lap. His banker lap was just 0.186 seconds slower than Leclerc's after the first attempts, and within those .186 seconds Ferrari saw his safety margin – with Vettel just too slow 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 did not compromise on the threshold exactly the same for the two riders, on the one hand we had to get out and on the other …
Incidentally, Charles asked from his cockpit if I should go out, I think it's a bit too marginal, we could be at risk, we answered that no, we got the data and we believed that they were good enough Not.
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 were to tell us that it was good enough.
"As I said, we may take a risk, too many risks, and as I said at the beginning, it's a misjudgment, and misjudgment is a mistake."
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