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Formula 1

Binotto explains decision not to pit Leclerc during SC

Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc at the British GP. Credits: @ScuderiaFerrari (Twitter).

Mattia Binotto said that the close gap between Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz did not allow Ferrari to make a pit stop for the former during the Safety Car.

Leclerc and Sainz were 1st and 2nd at the moment when the Safety Car was deployed following Esteban Ocon’s retirement. Leclerc stayed on the race track, while Sainz got soft tires.

It allowed the Spaniard make a pass at the restart and win the race. Meanwhile, Leclerc dropped down to 4th after fighting with Sergio Perez and Lewis Hamilton, who were on softs as well.

After the race, Binotto stated that Ferrari decided not to make a pit stop for both drivers because of a risk of losing positions.

“Here what happened is our two cars – in our view, certainly – were too close to stop both of them, so we had to take a decision,” he said.

“We were the only ones out there having the two cars fighting for the good positions. The other teams got only one car, so certainly the decisions are a lot easier.

“In our case, we got the two cars and we saw that there was not sufficient gap to stop both of them, because the second would have lost time at the pit stop and would have fallen back on track.

“Because his [Leclerc’s] tires were fresher compared to the ones of Carlos – he had, I think, six or seven laps less than the ones of Carlos in a better shape.

“And Carlos, by stopping in second, he would have been protecting us in the first couple of corners where we know that restarting on the hards would have been even more difficult. So that was the reason why we decided.

“Then we were hoping for more tire degradation on the softs to give Charles, yes, maybe a difficult three or four laps initially, but then recovering later on, but the softs didn’t degrade as we were hoping.”

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