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Reconstruction: Ferrari blunders even without championship pressure

12 November at 12:08
Last update 12 November at 12:28

Ferrari lost focus throughout the 2022 F1 season and missed out on important points with big blunders. Both championships are out of reach for Ferrari and Charles Leclerc, but Ferrari steadily continued its blundering in Brazil. No less than twice it was pure chaos at the team.

Leclerc qualified tenth, and did not set a time in Q3. Ferrari took a particularly big gamble with the Intermediates with little chance of success. The fact that Leclerc made it to Q3 was also quite an achievement in itself. Earlier in qualifying, the team went through by heels. Indeed, Ferrari went in late for slick tyres. Pierre Gasly had shown that the fastest times were driven on the soft tyre, so the rest had to follow.

Reconstruction of chaos at Ferrari

Engineer Marcos Padros gave the signal to come into the pit lane for new Intermediates. The team had calculated that Leclerc would have three timed laps left after the stop. That was only made a lot more difficult once he joined his team in the pit lane. Just after new Intermediates had been put under his F1-75, it was decided that new soft tyres would be run. The Intermediates went off, but then suddenly a used set of soft tyres came on. It was Leclerc himself who had to remark that they were not new soft tyres. Eventually, the new tyres did come on after three changes. Important time was lost, but Leclerc crawled through the eye of the needle.

In Q3, Ferrari did not get away with the blunder. Leclerc found out on exiting the pit lane that he was the only one on the Intermediate tyre (see video below); a risky move by Ferrari with minimal chance of success. Ferrari expected rain, but it did not materialise. The team was in contact with Leclerc throughout the lap, but despite the close contact, Leclerc heard the message to come in for new tyres anyway only after he passed the pit lane entrance. It was too late and Russell's red flag prevented Leclerc from setting a time.