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Ferrari F1 Manage to Screw Charles Leclerc’s Race One More Time at the Qualifying of Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Ferrari F1 Manage to Screw Charles Leclerc’s Race One More Time at the Qualifying of Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Chinese GP

Abu Dhabi marks the end of a very long season for fans and drivers alike. For Ferrari and its drivers, it marks the end of yet another frustrating season with some incredible highs and a few lows as well. The team saw the rise of Charles Leclerc, who was promoted from Sauber with the intention of being #2 to Sebastian Vettel. He ended up taking 8 pole positions and 2 race victories, including one in Monza which made him the favourite among Tifosi. It also saw the fall of Sebastian Vettel, who was defeated by his younger teammate, and overall never managed to grab a hold of the season.

But as some things remain constant, Ferrari continued its recent trends of making errors. Errors that costed their drivers podiums, victories and pole positions. Drivers were no different themselves, but the team’s strategists in general showed pretty mediocre performance and were often caught napping while Red Bull and Mercedes were undercutting or overcutting them.

The trend continued in Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. First Vettel spun during his first flying lap of Q1 and then Ferrari managed to ruin Leclerc’s golden chance of 8th pole position. He managed a good first two sectors, purple in both of them but ended up losing 0.6s in the last one. During his second run, Ferrari completely mistimed his out-lap and as a result he was never able to pass the finish line before the chequered flag came out. This seemed like a rookie mistake from Ferrari and its team of strategists. They must have waited for him to get a slipstream along the long straights of Yas Marina circuit, but ended up sending him very late.

“Obviously we knew that we are not too competitive today,” Mattia Binotto  told Sky. “Especially losing a lot of time in the last sector. In the last attempt we tried to do whatever we could, taking some risks.”

“We screwed up,” he added added but later defended the team’s gamble as well.  “I think here we were completely aware and conscious of what could of been the risks,” he said. “It was a risk we knew that we were taking but this didn’t work today.”

Helpless Leclerc, said nothing to agitate his team and instead resorted to pure diplomacy.

“It’s life sometimes,” he said.

“I don’t know whether the situation was unlucky or whether we could have done anything better. But we’ll analyse it and try to understand for it to not happen again because it’s a big shame.”

 

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