Ferrari: Strategy gamble in Canadian Grand Prix was right call
|By Jonathan Noble||Monday, June 11th 2012, 09:45 GMT|
Ferrari reckons it did the right thing in gambling on trying out its doomed one-stop strategy to try and beat Lewis Hamilton to victory in Canada - but concedes it was wrong to have not reacted to Sebastian Vettel's late tyre change too.
Fernando Alonso was battling for victory in Montreal throughout the race, and moved to the front of the field in the closing stages when race leader Hamilton pitted for fresh rubber.
Ferrari elected not to cover that move by keeping Alonso out, and hoping that his tyres would not drop off enough to allow Hamilton to catch up with him.
However, with degradation turning out higher than the team expected, Alonso's pace fell away at the end - and Hamilton, Romain Grosjean, Sergio Perez, and the late-stopping Sebastian Vettel all overhauled him before the chequered flag.
Ferrari is not shying away from the fact that it would have done better if it had stopped Alonso at the right time, but team principal Stefano Domenicali fully understands why the one-stop decision was made.
"Of course with hindsight it is easy; and my kinds who are seven and eight years old could do the right thing," he explained about the strategy call.
"Honestly when we did the first pitstop, we did the right choice because we jumped one position, but it was not clear at that moment if it would have been one or two stops - because otherwise we would have kept Fernando longer on the track.
"Then, considering the pace and considering the way that Fernando was managing the tyres, we discussed with Fernando and apparently the tyres were keeping up a pace that was good in terms of having a one-stop strategy.
"Then, when you arrive at a certain moment, you have to go for one solution or another one, so at that stage the situation – the elements that we had – were okay so we kept going in that direction. After that, I cannot say anything more than with hindsight of course it was the wrong thing to do.
"But the real mistake was not to cover Vettel, because we were not expecting for him to catch up so quickly or the other way around, the tyres [on Alonso's car] going off the cliff in such a strong way."
Alonso said after the race that he backed Ferrari's decision to gamble on being committed to its one-stop strategy – even though changing tyres at the time Hamilton did would probably have delivered a better result.
"I don't agree that it was the wrong strategy. Grosjean nearly won the race with one stop, so one stop was the right strategy," he said.
"If I stopped behind Hamilton I would finish second behind Hamilton, but if I had the degradation of Grosjean, I would have won the race, Vettel would have been second, Grosjean third and Hamilton fourth - and now you [the media] would be in the McLaren garage saying two stop is the wrong strategy.
"We tried to win the race not stopping behind Hamilton and we went for it and it didn't work, but I was happy with the approach and the points."