Arrivabene admits to Ferrari strategy error

Ferrari team principal Maurizio Arrivabene admits Sebastian Vettel should have won the Canadian Grand Prix but for a strategy error.

Vettel was leading in the opening stint of the race when the Virtual Safety Car was deployed at the end of lap 10 due to Jenson Button’s stricken McLaren. Ferrari opted to pit both cars on a two-stop strategy, handing track position to Lewis Hamilton who went on to win on a one-stop.

Asked about the strategy decision after the race, Arrivabene told Sky Sports: “We overestimated the degradation on the tyres, so this is the reason why we called him in and it was the wrong decision.

With Ferrari having made a strategic error which cost Vettel victory in Australia, Arrivabene then defended his team.

“Come on, we don’t have to make the story bigger than what it is. Today we made a mistake, but in other races everybody makes a mistake.”

While Arrivabene later apologised for not taking responsibility himself, he explained why Ferrari had opted for such a strategy.

“I have to apologise to the team because straight after the race Sky Sports F1 UK jumped on me and said, ‘Who was the guy that made the mistake on the strategy?’” Arrivabene said.

“First of all, in my role, I don’t have to indicate anyone because if, and I underline if, there is a mistake, this mistake is on my shoulders and not on my team.

“Having said so, I think the question is, ‘What about the strategy?’ It is quite clear if you look that only two pilots that were doing one stop [finished in the top-ten], one was Bottas and the other one was Hamilton. We didn’t predict that Hamilton was able to go to the end of the race.

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“Having said so…. let me say that I was really happy with the start of Sebastian because I think it was one of the greatest starts that I have ever seen in Formula One. I was really happy and we pushed hard and I think the work that we started straight after Monaco, starts to pay off, we understand better the car and we are working during the race weekend in a way that we are able to find the right balance and this is going to pay off because I think today was an interesting race. Yesterday too, [but] we have to do more and more and more, I think.

“We need to continue like this and be positive and be positive and be positive. Of course when you sniff the victory that is nearby you, you get a bit nervous or disappointed straight after the race because it has happened to me [and we didn’t get it]. But I think the team was doing a great job this weekend, I have to say. I am happy.”

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