Sebastian Vettel managed to bag an unlikely seventh-place finish at the Spanish Grand Prix. Some quick thinking and masterful tire management helped Ferrari salvage some crucial points in an otherwise disappointing race.
However, Vettel ultimately chalked out his own strategy, yet again.
Ferrari’s pit wall has received a lot of flak as of late. Fans often ridicule and deride the Scuderia’s strategists for making decisions that are questionable at best.
As a result, Vettel’s taken up the role of calling the shots while driving the SF1000 at 250 miles an hour.
Despite the recent backlash, Ferrari’s Chief Strategist, Inaki Rueda, stood by the team’s recent calls. Rueda opened up on how the team’s strategic calls have changed from last year to this year.
“Certainly, compared to the past, race management is much more complicated,” said Rueda “It’s a fact that this year we are fighting with a group of teams and drivers whose performance is all very close and so it’s easy to find yourself having to manage scenarios that change lap after lap.
“Therefore, there was hardly ever a problem with traffic. You just had to open a gap before the first stop and then everything followed on more or less to an equal model with few variables.
“That’s not the case today and so the talk with the drivers is more frequent and intense.
“Strategies are based on mathematical models but it’s down to the drivers to apply them and they are not programmable computers.
“Honestly, I think the choices made in the last few races have been the right ones and have helped us make up some of the places that we had lost in qualifying, given how hard it is to overtake on track.”
Rueda also hailed Vettel and Leclerc for their tire management skills. Most recently, Vettel nursed a set of softs for a staggering 36 laps.
“But there is always room to improvement, and the most important thing is to improve the performance of the car. With a faster car, everything is easier!” concluded Rueda.
Ferrari has their hands full with a multitude of problems. Thankfully, tire issues aren’t one of them.