Ferrari strategists spooked by Verstappen’s speed

Formula E driver Sam Bird thinks Ferrari dreaded the pace of Max Verstappen’s Red Bull far too much, which has led him to make more questionable decisions.

Having jumped at the chance to run the first virtual safety car at Monza, Ferrari let Charles Leclerc struggle on medium tires for 40 laps, which was way too much.

Unsurprisingly, this strategy did not work as Verstappen returned inexorably to Leclerc, the Monegasque returning to the pits to put on soft rubber in an attempt to chase the Dutchman.

“I’m a little disappointed that we didn’t see more of what could have been a great fight between Charles and Max”said Sam Bird on the Checkered Flag podcast of the BBC.

“This decision to go under a virtual safety car was a bad decision. Max Verstappen was coming back to Charles Leclerc, but it was only a matter of a few tenths per lap”

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“So why did Ferrari choose to bring it to an early stop instead of Verstappen? This team is kind of scared by the speed and pace of this driver’s race. She then thinks she has to make some surreal decisions to try to keep him under control.”

“Ferrari engineers should have left Charles on track for seven or eight more laps. It is very difficult to overtake at Monza, contrary to popular belief. Although you have DRS, when you have someone who knocks down a lap time similar to yours, you are in dirty air and get stuck”

“If Leclerc hadn’t had to anticipate his first stop, it could have been a good old boxing match for the last 10 rounds, but we were deprived of that and then Leclerc had to come in again for a strategy that didn’t was never going to work”

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