Ferrari’s persistent strategic issues were once again brought to the fore during the Spanish Grand Prix, as confusion over team radio unfolded at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
With the race being heavily influenced by tire degradation and the potential for a two-stop strategy, Ferrari’s decision-making came under scrutiny.
Charles Leclerc’s challenging weekend started with a pit lane start due to modifications made to his Ferrari following a disappointing qualifying session that saw the Monegasque driver qualify in 19th position.
Starting on the Hard compound tires, Leclerc found it difficult to make progress through the field, contrary to the expectations set by the top teams in Formula 1.
In an attempt to turn their fortunes around, Leclerc made an early pit stop. However, it was the switch from Softs to Hards later in the race that caused confusion.
Leclerc’s Race Engineer, Xavier Marcos Padros, seemed to disregard his driver’s request for another set of Softs. When Padros stated they would box for Hards with 23 laps remaining, Leclerc responded by insisting on Softs, which was acknowledged by his engineer.
After a brief silence, Leclerc then asked to box anyway, but Ferrari stuck to their initial decision, instructing him to switch to Hards.
This exchange only amplifies Ferrari’s image as a team struggling with strategic blunders, following a turbulent year in 2022 when they were vying for the championship.
Despite Leclerc finishing 12th on the road, a penalty imposed on AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda elevated him to 11th place.
Ferrari’s ongoing struggles with strategy have become a cause for concern, as they continue to grapple with making the right calls during races.
The team will undoubtedly need to address these issues and find more effective ways to maximize their potential if they aim to regain their former glory and compete at the front of the Formula 1 grid.