Ferrari Wanted Bottas to ‘Suffer Behind Lappers’ Before Mercedes Pit Stop Fail

Published 05/26/2021, 7:56 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Monaco Grand Prix – Circuit de Monaco, Monte Carlo, Monaco – Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz Jr. in action during the race REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes


Ferrari had a near perfect outing in Monaco which was only ruined by the unfortunate DNS to Charles Leclerc. However, Carlos Sainz would go on to make up for it by finishing the race in P2, to end a weekend where Ferrari looked like the team to beat. Nevertheless, Sainz did have some luck go his way. Most notable was the fact that Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas endured a horrible end to his race, thanks to a jammed wheel nut. But the Scuderia have revealed that had Bottas’ pitstop been a clean one, they had a plan in place to go past him.

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The Prancing Horse’s head of race strategy, Inaki Rueda, revealed that the team was toying with the idea of undercutting Bottas. The Finn, at the time, was in P2, one position ahead of Sainz.

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Rueda said, “For a very small amount of time, we exploited or we toyed around with the idea of him suffering behind lappers, and us trying to undercut him.

“When we hit those lappers, as a matter of fact, we did call Carlos in on lap 29 to try to do this with Bottas.”

In the end, Ferrari got more than what they bargained for. The Finn went into the pits and didn’t come out again. That left Sainz to peacefully see out the race in P2.

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The Scuderia’s performance in Monaco came as a pleasant surprise to many. Leclerc and Sainz clocked in very impressive times all throughout the weekend. If Leclerc been able to race on Sunday, a sure shot victory was also in sight.

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Formula One F1. Monaco Grand Prix. Circuit de Monaco, Monte Carlo, Monaco. Second placed Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz Jr. celebrates second place with a trophy. Pool via REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

This performance would give the team some much-needed motivation after a tough year. Sainz’s P2 can galvanize the team as they aim to end the season ahead of McLaren. They would dearly love to end the year as ‘the best of the rest.’

Coming up next is yet another street circuit in Baku. Although the track is quite different from Monaco, the Maranello-based outfit will hope that by the end of it one of their drivers is standing on the podium.

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Whether that dream can turn into reality, only time will tell.

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Ronan Carvalho

1063 articles

Ronan Carvalho is senior F1 author for Essentiallysports. Ronan is currently pursuing his Journalism degree from St. Xavier's College.

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