After a totally crazy British Grand Prix at Silverstone on Sunday, winner Carlos Sainz reversed his decision to pass his teammate, Charles Leclerc, when he was in the lead.
Less than 48 hours after an exceptional Grand Prix at Silverstone, the pressure hasn’t really subsided on Ferrari’s side. Because the Italian team is experiencing contrasting emotions within it, shared between the joy of seeing its driver Carlos Sainz win the first race of his F1 career, and the legitimate anger of Charles Leclerc, annoyed by his team’s strategy which saw him finish at the foot of the podium (4th).
Leclerc annoyed, Sainz winner: contrasting feelings at Ferrari
Scuderia boss Mattia Binotto explained to Sky Italia the background to the decision not to pit the Monegasque, as a safety car entered the track and Leclerc was in the lead despite worn tires. “Without the safety car, he would certainly have won. He was in front with a good lead (…) There was no time. Carlos would have lost more places. So we chose to stop Carlos because Charles had fresher tyres, he would have kept the lead and protected his teammate, at least at the start. We were hoping that our competitors’ soft tires would wear out faster. »
Ferrari was therefore afraid of losing big by making a double stop, and saw Sainz “disobey” the instructions of his team. Because after his tire change, Binotto would have asked him to give Leclerc more room in the lead by trying to slow down his pursuers. An instruction rejected by the Spaniard during the race. “Please don’t ask that. Please, please stop inventing, stop inventing. I am also under pressure, ”he explained in his helmet.
After the Grand Prix, Binotto acknowledged that Sainz had done his best for the team and that the order would have been difficult to apply: “There was probably no way for him to give space to Charles. I think he did his best for a Ferrari win here at Silverstone.”
“Sometimes the team can tell you something you don’t agree with and you just do your own thing because you really believe it”
The Spaniard then gave his version of the facts to justify, in particular, his overtaking of Leclerc from the first round of recovery. “I tried to explain to them that I had behind me probably the fastest man on the track today. If I backed up ten meters, I could lose some suction. And if he passed me, Charles was also easy prey. So my decision was to take the lead as soon as possible, because I knew I was going to take the lead before turn 6, with the grip I had with the softs, and from there try not to affect his race by taking the lead. I asked the team: ‘Leave it to me, I’ll handle this as cleanly as possible. (…) Sometimes there is the feeling of the driver and sometimes the team can tell you something that you don’t approve of and you just do your own thing because you really believe it. But I have great confidence in the team and today we had a very good race, and we trust each other in these kinds of scenarios, as you have seen. »
Carlos Sainz is now trailing his teammate by just 11 points in the drivers’ standings. A new opportunity to shine for the two men presents itself on Sunday at 3 p.m., for the Austrian GP on the Spielberg circuit.