Having started from 19th on the grid at the French Grand Prix, Carlos Sainz was on the verge of a third place finish, until Ferrari once again made a monumental strategic error.
With just over ten laps remaining and having overtaken Sergio Pérez for P3, Sainz was strangely called into the pits by the Ferrari pit-wall.
The team revealed after the race that they didn’t believe the Spaniard’s Medium tyres would make it to the end, even though at the time Sainz was still faster than those he overtook for third.
Fans watched on bewildered, as George Russell and Pérez battled it out over an unexpected place on the Circuit Paul Ricard podium.
When Sainz exited the pits, he had fallen back to ninth; however, in the closing laps he battled his way back up to a fifth-place finish.
Ferrari appear to have made yet another strategic error, with many wondering why they would bring their driver in if his tyres seemingly appeared okay.
Sainz himself responded to the calls that his team made a mistake, and stuck-up for their decision to pit him.
Former F1 driver Jolyon Palmer believes it was in fact an error by the Italian team, slamming in his F1 column that the strategists have “one job”.
“You know they have all the information available to them and for the strategists, this should be their bread and butter,” Palmer said.
“They turn up with one job to do for the entire weekend, so they should know best.
“We are all human though, and occasional mistakes are inevitable.”
Palmer wishes Sainz had taken the decision to pit into his own hands, like he did at both the Monaco and the British Grand Prix, where he went on to claim his first victory in the sport.
“As far as I’m concerned, he should have done it again in France,” Palmer added.
Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto told the media after the race that the team pitted Sainz as it was the “safe option”, despite this, Palmer doesn’t think there was “justification” for pitting Sainz as late as they did.
“The medium tyre may not have made it to the end, but I still can’t see the justification for the pit stop at the moment it happened,” added Palmer.
“Either Ferrari had to realise this much earlier and pit their driver before he lost time fighting with Perez, or more obviously they had to leave him out until there were at least some signs that Carlos was starting to drop with degradation,” he concluded.