Formula 1 Racing

Ferrari claim they used a “dummy” pit stop for Leclerc to outfox Red Bull · RaceFans

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Yas Marina, 2022

Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto says a “dummy” pit stop was the key to getting Charles Leclerc ahead of Sergio Perez in yesterday’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Leclerc jumped ahead of his rival to finish second in the race – and clinched the same position in the championship – by making one fewer pit stop than his rival. Binotto says Ferrari prompted Red Bull’s second pit stop by making as if they were preparing to bring Leclerc in.

Perez was running in second place ahead of Leclerc when he made his first pit stop on lap 15. Leclerc extended his first stint six laps longer, and was closing on Perez again as the race passed the half-distance mark.

At that point Ferrari sent their crew into the pit lane and told Leclerc to “box opposite Perez” – i.e., only come into the pits if he does not. Perez did come in, and so Leclerc stayed out.

Leclerc only came in once, but Ferrari prepared for a second stop

Leclerc never made a second pit stop. Perez closed on him in the final laps but fell 1.3 seconds short of catching the Ferrari driver.

Ferrari’s pit strategies have been criticised earlier in the season, and Binotto praised the work done by the team in Abu Dhabi. “Certainly we did the proper job,” he told media including RaceFans on Sunday.

“A dummy pit stop on Red Bull was the right call and I think that overall we made it right,” he said. “So I’m happy for them, happy for the team.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

“I think that when Ferrari is making mistakes there is always a lot of criticism but as well I know that these guys can do very well.”

It was a close call whether one or two pit stops was the best strategy for the race, said Binotto. While Leclerc pitted once, Carlos Sainz Jnr made two stops.

Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin, Yas Marina, 2022
Gallery: 2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in pictures

“It was a very difficult weekend for tyre degradation and tyre management,” Binotto explained. “Not only for us, it has been the case for other drivers and it has been the case certainly for Mercedes or Checo.

“Pushing too hard on the first laps, the risk was to destroy the tyres. So in order to manage it well through the entire stint you have to be very careful at the start. Not only [that], you needed a very good balance of the car itself.

“If I look at ourselves, what we did is during the weekend, starting from Friday, to put some more effort, some more laps on high-fuel runs, on the race simulations, to make sure that we had the right balance for today. And…

Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at RaceFans…