Ferrari’s Monaco strategy defended, ‘very poor’ Sainz under spotlight

Henry Valantine
Ferrari split image, Monaco May 2023.

Ferrari Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc split image, 2023 Monaco Grand Prix.

Ferrari have been defended for their Monaco Grand Prix strategy by 2015 Le Mans winner Richard Bradley, reasoning that they were right to not pit Carlos Sainz under threat of losing track position to Lewis Hamilton.

Hamilton had pitted early to try and force an undercut and make his way up the field in Monaco, the seven-time World Champion making time up on Sainz ahead.

Ferrari opted to make him pit – much to Sainz’s frustration – in order to cover off the Mercedes driver.

“I don’t care about Hamilton!” was the response from the Spaniard at the time, who had been on a charge against Esteban Ocon for the final podium place.

“Ferrari’s tactics being called into question again with the timing of the boxing for [Sainz, sic], now, I’m actually on Ferrari’s side with this, believe it or not,” Bradley said in his post-race debrief for On Track GP.

“I think that there’s always going to be a debate with strategy, but if [Sainz] had boxed when he wanted to box, he would have lost a track position to Hamilton.

“We all know how hard it is to overtake in Monaco, so for that reason, I’m going to side with Ferrari on this one.”

Attention was also on Sainz for how he handled his weekend after a positive Friday practice session, but given how his Saturday and Sunday later transpired, Bradley believes his tangle in FP3 could have had wider ranging impacts for the rest of the weekend.

“Carlos Sainz also had a very poor race,” he said. “He clipped Ocon in the opening laps coming out of the tunnel, he had the spin in the rain, eventually finishing P8.

“Of course, as well, he had the crash in practice, and as I said in the preview for this race, on a street circuit it’s all about getting those laps, especially at the beginning of the weekend.

“When you do lose track time because of a crash, it knocks your confidence, you lose the comfort that you have with the car, with the circuit, and it just puts this little doubt in your mind for the rest of the weekend – and I think we saw that from Sainz.” recommends

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With Max Verstappen taking a comfortable victory on Sunday, Red Bull opened up a whopping 129-point lead at the top of the Constructors’ standings, and with that, Bradley believes it is already game over for one title race this year.

“I mean, let’s be honest, the Constructors’ Championship is done,” he said.

“That’s Schumacher-Ferrari levels of dominance. I can’t see that changing, to be honest.

“I think at the minute, on current form, Alonso’s looking very good, could possibly get second in the Drivers’ Championship, especially if Aston Martin’s upgrades work well, but the Constructors’ Championship will be a done deal.”

You can watch Richard’s full thoughts about the Monaco Grand Prix in his post-race debrief with On Track GP below – and don’t forget to like and subscribe while you’re at it for more from our YouTube channel, which is run in partnership with our friends at DR Sports.