An all red first row in Monaco seemed the perfect anticipation for a Ferrari win on Sunday’s race, but things didn’t run so smoothly for the prancing horse.
Charles Leclerc was comfortably leading the race when a disastrous call to the pits destroyed his chances for a win and had him end up out of the podium, while teammate Carlos Sainz only finished in P2.
Both drivers, as team principal Mattia Binotto pointed out in a media session where MotorLat was present, lost time due to the lapped Williams of Nicholas Latifi and Alex Albon, despite blue flags being waived at both single-seaters.
“It cost us both the race and no further action. That was proper impeding, so this is where we want more clarity and we want more consistency, as simple as that,” stated Sainz.
“You can understand the frustration and the feeling that I went through there, because I knew my race was all about that out-lap. As soon as I exited the pits I was wheelspinning, obviously in the wet patch, and he just managed to sneak in ahead of me.”
“Knowing that I was the [net] leader of the race at that time, he could have perfectly just stayed behind me instead of overtaking me while I have to stay to the right of the yellow line.”
Sainz, in fact, had extended his stint on full wets in order to switch directly to slicks and use the out lap to keep ahead of Sergio Perez’s Red Bull after their pit stops.
“From there onwards, I had to follow him through Turn 3 to the exit of Turn 8. He got out of the way in the tunnel, but at that time I had already lost the warm up of the tyre and the time to make a difference on the slick,” he explained.
“I believe the slick at that point was already as quick as the inter and just because of being stuck behind the slowest car of the grid on the track at time it cost me the opportunity to stay ahead of Checo after the pitstop.”
“You can imagine my frustration, you can imagine my shouting on the radio to get him out of the way, but for some reason it took longer than it should.”
Neither Albon nor Latifi’s fails to respect blue flags were taken into consideration by stewards and Ferrari feels that was not a fair way to manage things.
Just on Saturday before the race a stewards’ report issued – in an unusually strong tone – a reprimand for Sainz and a €25,000 fine for the team for impeding Lance Stroll’s Aston in FP3, after the driver was given “a series of grossly incorrect messages, by radio, about the gaps to the cars behind”.
“I cannot count the times that I got impeded in Monaco this weekend, both being dangerous and not dangerous,” said Sainz.
“What I don’t understand is why we got fined 25,000 euros as a team for an impeding which I did.”
“I accepted the blame and I apologised to Lance. I don’t understand why other cases are not investigated and other people are not fined for exactly the same thing.”
“Of course we know that the traffic situation in Monaco is always very difficult and it seems that radio communication - as Carlos was saying before - is critical and not obvious,” added Binotto.
“We did our best, we believe that the impeding he made was certainly not dangerous.”
“We’re not too happy for the fine, we believe it was not the right choice, because we believe that as a team and driver, we did our best in order to avoid it at the time and not do anything wrong.”
“We need to accept those decisions, it doesn’t mean we agree with them.”