Charles Leclerc

Ferrari’s Mexico Grand Prix Strategy Blunder: Leclerc’s Hard Tyre Woes

October 31, 2023 11:53 am

Ferrari’s Mexico Grand Prix adventure took an unexpected twist after a crucial restart, with team principal Fred Vasseur revealing that Charles Leclerc couldn’t bring the hard tyres up to temperature, leading to a disappointing outcome for the Scuderia.

Leclerc’s race had started on a challenging note, as he suffered a front wing endplate damage in a first-corner tussle with Sergio Perez. Despite this setback, he managed a commendable first stint on the medium tyres. Follow your favourite F1 team with attractive F1 betting odds from Nextbet. 

However, a critical turning point came when he pitted for hard tyres just a few laps before Kevin Magnussen’s crash prompted a red flag. Ferrari used the break to replace Leclerc’s damaged front wing, but here’s where the strategy took a puzzling turn. Instead of switching to medium tyres like some of their rivals, the team decided to stick with the hard compound.

The consequence was a struggle for Leclerc to bring the hard tyres into the optimal operating window. In the restarted second half of the race, he swiftly surrendered second place to Lewis Hamilton, who had opted for mediums, and continued to drop back.

Ultimately, Charles Leclerc and his teammate Carlos Sainz secured third and fourth places, despite starting from the front row.

Red Bull’s Christian Horner expressed his surprise at Ferrari’s decision, believing that Leclerc might go for the mediums during the red flag break, potentially giving him a shot at overtaking pole-sitter Max Verstappen, who also remained on hards for the restart.

Ferrari’s boss, Vasseur, admitted that the initial part of the race looked promising for Leclerc, even with the compromised front wing. However, the hard tyres presented a significant challenge.

Vasseur explained that switching to mediums wasn’t a feasible option due to the length of the remaining race, which required approximately 35 laps. The team didn’t anticipate this scenario. He pointed out that the management of engine and brakes played a role in the tire choice. He also mentioned that the set of mediums they had was already used (scrubbed).

Despite the disappointing ending, Vasseur refrained from calling the race frustrating. He acknowledged the progress Ferrari has made in recent races, achieving four pole positions out of the last six. The focus now is on improving race consistency and avoiding any performance gaps in different stints.

The Mexico Grand Prix certainly provided its fair share of surprises and challenges, leaving Ferrari with valuable lessons to apply in their future endeavors on the Formula 1 circuit. Get the latest updates from the world of F1 only on Nextbet Sports