Binotto addresses ‘misjudgement’ at Ferrari as Leclerc knocked out in Q1

Monte Carlo, Monaco

Monaco Grand Prix – Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto has addressed the media to clarify the misjudgement that saw Charles Leclerc knocked out after Q1.

The hometown hero was left furious after being knocked out in Q1, finishing P16 in the most qualifying session of the year. With a processional race the norm in Monaco, it’ll be a hard fight to make any progress or even to get back into the points. Leclerc spoke of his disappointment after qualifying, saying that he was yet to get the full story of the decision to not send him back out for a second run at the end of Q1.

After speaking with Leclerc, team boss Mattia Binotto took the opportunity to explain what had happened and the mistake in their own procedures that resulted in the error.

“This is not a good day with us, we made a mistake. We made a misjudgement of what we thought was the cutoff time. That is the threshold of time of which we think we have made it into the next session and that cutoff time is calculated in real time based on data we see on the track. It’s based on the sectors we see from the competitors and the drivers. On top of that cutoff time, we have a little bit of margin built in and that margin is usually good enough for any tolerances of any uncertainties that might happen.”

“Certainly what happened today shows that the margin we applied wasn’t sufficient, and the track improvement was quite large at the end of Q1. Also the margin wasn’t considerate enough of the driver’s ability to improve confidence at Monaco. Certainly this is a factor at Monaco and the data isn’t sufficient to calculate a cutoff time at Monaco and today, that margin needed to be bigger.”

“We are facing a situation where we need to catch up in the points, and we need to catch up in terms of our competitors. To do that, we have to take some risks as well. By taking margin on everything we do, like today taking margin with using another set of tyres to get into Q2 and taking risks was key to us performing in Q2 and Q3. We wanted to have an extra set of tyres.”

“It’s a shame for Charles, no doubt, shame for the team.”

“I should have overruled the decision, but I didn’t. We have the right people and the right procedures but we need to improve.”

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Thomas Maher

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