Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto has affirmed that luck had nothing to do with the team’s poor result in Monaco, and that it is their own mistakes that cost them the win.
Charles Leclerc had started the race ahead of Carlos Sainz as the Scuderia locked out the front row in qualifying for the second time this season, and he was leading the field in wet conditions early on.
The Red Bulls of Sergio Perez and Max Verstappen both pitted for Inters as they started their transition to Slicks, giving Ferrari a choice.
They could either go long on the Wets and transition to Slicks when it got dry enough, or they could immediately respond to Red Bull and box for Inters when they did.
Not feasible was trying to go in between the two, but this is what they inexplicably did by bringing Leclerc in several laps after Red Bull had completed their stops, putting Perez ahead of him.
Sainz did go long, and he made the switch straight from Wets to Hards, but Leclerc was called in at the same time and, owing to his proximity to his team-mate, he was held up in the pits.
Anticipating the time loss and unaware that the Monegasque was already in the pit lane, his engineer told him to stay out, so Leclerc’s frustration boiled over as he screamed “what are you doing?!” over the radio.
This cost the 24-year-old a further place to Verstappen, and Perez had also undercut Sainz when the Spaniard was held up on his out lap by Nicholas Latifi.
The Mexican held on to take his first win in the Principality ahead of the 27-year-old, and Leclerc could only manage fourth as the Maranello squad haemorrhaged more points a week after the four-time race winner’s reliability failure in Spain.
Binotto accepts that a series of misjudgements on the pit wall cost them what should have been their second one-two of the season.
“I think we need to admit that if you’re leading the race, and you’re finding yourself in first position, then we may have done something wrong,” he said, quoted by Motorsport.com.
“So we made certainly mistakes in our judgement and we made mistakes in our calls.
“Now, what’s the process which brought us to make mistakes? I think the first mistake was underestimating the pace of the intermediate and the gap we had to the other cars, in terms of track position.
“I think we made a mistake as well, because we should have called him earlier, at least a lap earlier, or if not, as we did, we should have stayed out and simply stayed on the extreme wet protecting the position and then maybe switching directly onto the dries.
“Now that we made mistakes, I think it’s straightforward. What was the process bringing them that brought us to that? It will take some more time to look at it and have a clear explanation.
“When you’re leading the race here in Monaco, you should be in position, if not keeping the lead, at least finishing second. Finishing fourth is showing that we made something wrong. I don’t think it’s a matter of being lucky or unlucky.”
The Italian stated that the team will head back to Maranello and dissect their miserable afternoon to ensure they avoid a repeat of the costly errors on Sunday.
“I think the answers, we’ll get them a bit later on, obviously it was a complex situation,” added Binotto.
“We’ll have quite a bit of meetings in the next few days to understand that as a team. And so for now we still need to discuss a bit more, and to go a bit more into details.”
Verstappen now leads Leclerc by nine points in the Drivers’ Championship, while Red Bull have opened up a 36-point gap in the Constructors’ Standings.