If there’s something you can not fail in Monaco that is Qualifying.
Imagine a young guy, second year in Formula 1, first with such an important team like Ferrari, at his home race.
Everyone would expect him to do everything perfectly in order to get Pole Position and try to win his first GP here on the streets he can call home. But… no.
Charles Leclerc finished the morning session on top, giving the fans quite some hopes, but the paper castle fell when the red pit wall didn’t make him do another run in Q1.
Here’s what happened: Leclerc first went out in Q1, did 8 laps with a fastest time of 1.12.149s. The fastest time was Bottas’ 1.11.562s, meaning Leclerc was 6 tenths slower.
When he came back in the Pit Lane, the Monegasque almost missed the FIA check, so that his mechanics pushed him back in the pit lane.
In the meanwhile, Sebastian Vettel, his team mate, was risking to not qualify for Q2: he just slightly touched the wall at the Pool and there were only two minutes left on the timer. He quickly came in the Pit to change tyres and came back on track.
The German scored the fastest time of Q1, qualifying first, and guess what? He pushed out his team mate, who finished then 16th.
The camera then zoomed in the Ferrari garage, where Charles Leclerc was watching his mechanics shaking his head.
“I asked ‘Are we safe?’ They said yes. I asked ‘should we go out again?’, they said no. I need some explanations because right now I don’t know.” That’s what Leclerc said to the cameras as soon as he left the Pit Lane.
Strong words, angry tone, but he is right: Sebastian was in a bad place, but Charles was as well.
The red pit wall is no stranger to mistakes, there have been a lot of critics about the strategies and this together with the car’s performance, will only make it worse for Ferrari.
Something needs to be fixed: it’s not just about tyres windows temperature, suspensions or aerodynamic, it is a whole team who almost seem lost. And an historic team like Ferrari can not afford a situation like this.
Like Mattia Binotto said, this is a “young team”, but mistakes like this can not be accepted anymore.