Binotto Defends Ferrari’s Strategy After F1’s Belgian Grand Prix – Sports Illustrated

Ferrari has faced much criticism over its strategy calls throughout the season, the latest being at Spa-Francorchamps after calling Charles Leclerc to pit in the final laps of the Belgian Grand Prix. 
However, team boss Mattia Binotto defended the team’s strategy and went as far as to call the move “brave.” 
“Obviously there is always a need to improve and there are lessons learned which we are looking into and reflecting,” he said Sunday. “But if I look back at the season, I think there is a lot of perception from outside about what are the truth and the reality. Sometimes we are not doing mistakes which have been perceived as mistakes.”
The Monégasque driver looked poised to take a fifth place finish after a hefty grid penalty to start behind Max Verstappen, the eventual race winner. But then, Ferrari called Leclerc in to pit for fresh tires in an attempt to make a run for the fastest lap, for which a point is awarded to the driver.  
Leclerc, though, emerged ahead of Fernando Alonso, who eventually passed him. The Ferrari rising star did regain the position but failed to record the fastest lap—and received a time penalty for speeding on pit lane. Even Alonso, who previously raced for the Prancing Horse, was “surprised” by the call.  
“But Ferrari always does some strange strategies, so that was one of those,” the Alpine driver said to Sky Sports F1 Sunday. 
Binotto, though, defended the call. 
“You need to be brave in F1,” he said Sunday. “There was an opportunity for us to get the fast lap and there was the margin on Fernando to stop and to try to go for it I think was the right decision.
“We knew it would have been very close to Fernando, it was just losing the position, but we knew we could have overtook him back we had the fresher tires and that could have helped in terms of DRS and top-line speed on the main straight.”
The team principal later added, “I think overall it has been an unlucky situation, and we should not stop deciding to be brave to go for a fast lap when conditions are there to go for it.”
Ferrari is 118 points behind first-place Red Bull in the constructor standings. Meanwhile, both Red Bull and the Prancing Horse’s drivers make up the top four places in the driver standings: Max Verstappen (284), Sergio Perez (191), Leclerc (186) and Carlos Sainz (171). 
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