There was a mistaken perception that Fernando Alonso showed superior pace to easily catch Michael Schumacher during the second stint of the San Marino Grand Prix. And from there it was easy to conclude that Renault made a strategic error by pitting before Schumacher when the evidence suggested that Fernando would overhaul Michael by the simple expedient of running further.
If you were watching TV, that's certainly the way it looked. Fernando had been bottled up behind Massa's Ferrari while Michael stretched out a 13-second gap. Fernando had then run five laps further than Schuey before his first pitstop, which was timed at 9.1 seconds as against Schumacher's 8.3-second stop.
When Alonso caught Michael on lap 34, therefore, you figured that it was a simple case of waiting for the Ferrari to pit before Alonso turned in another blistering six or seven laps, made his own stop, pitted out ahead and won his third race of the year.
So Fernando stopping earlier than the Ferrari was, on the surface, unfathomable. Yes, Michael was going very slowly, but there was no danger from behind, no chance of Alonso being backed up into someone else's pitstop window. So what was Renault doing?