Binotto explains why Ferrari left Leclerc vulnerable to Hamilton and Perez

Charles Leclerc lost the lead and ended up fourth after a bizarre strategic decision from Ferrari on Sunday.

Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto has affirmed that the Scuderia did not feel they had the time to bring in both Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz at the end of the British Grand Prix.

Leclerc had already been annoyed when it took several laps for him to be allowed through when he was the quicker driver while running behind his team-mate, and the pair were leading Mercedes’ Sir Lewis Hamilton when the Safety Car was deployed.

The Italian side opted not to pit the leading Monegasque and brought in second-placed Sainz instead, as they were fearful that double stacking would have cost them too much time.

Leclerc was then passed by Sainz on the restart as the Spaniard took his maiden Formula 1 victory, before Sergio Perez and Hamilton both found their way past as the 24-year-old ended the race fourth.

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He was understandably dejected after the culmination of the grand prix, and Binotto expanded on why the strategists chose to leave Sainz out on the racetrack.

“We believed we didn’t have enough space between the two cars to stop both of them,” he told Sky Sports.

“So we had to make a choice between the first or the second car, so we decided to stop Carlos simply because Charles got the track position and was still leading, and remained leader of the race at that time.

“So, we don’t know what the others would have done if we would have stopped the leader, so for us it was clear, not stopping Charles and keeping track position, and stopping Carlos which was the only one which we could have stopped.

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“And then we were hoping for more tyre degradation on the Softs [but] that didn’t happen.”

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The silver lining for Leclerc was that Max Verstappen finished down in seventh having taken damage to his floor early on in the race, ruining the balance and, subsequently, the pace of his car.

This let Sainz off the hook after his mistake at Chapel that had initially given the Dutchman the lead.