Jacques Villeneuve is mystified as to how so many of F1’s strategists, said to be “top level”, could get it so horribly wrong at the Hungarian Grand Prix.
Ferrari can count themselves on that list.
The Scuderia made headlines after the Hungaroring race, not because of a shining moment of glory as it should have been for Charles Leclerc but because of how badly wrong they got his strategy.
The team went for a medium-medium-hard tyre strategy for the Monégasque driver only to realise the hards were not working.
However, you sense if they had been properly watching the race, they would have seen everyone else who tried the hard tyres struggled for pace.
Team boss Mattia Binotto has defended his strategists, telling Auto Motor und Sport “according to our simulations, they (the hard tyres) should have been superior to the medium tyres after 10 laps.”
Then he added: “This assumption was obviously wrong.”
Ferrari, say Villeneuve, would have realised that if they had just looked at what was going on out on track.
They couldn't believe their luck 😅 pic.twitter.com/LQTNaKR5T5
— ESPN F1 (@ESPNF1) July 31, 2022
Perplexed by the decisions that came from the Ferrari strategists, the Canadian told Formule1.nl: “Formula 1 is the premier class, everything is top level. Not just the drivers but also the mechanics, engineers and strategists.
“How can multiple teams, not just Ferrari, make the decision to go for the hard tyres? Even after Alpine proved it to be a crappy tyre.
“Aren’t they watching the race or something?”
Ferrari were not the only team to run the hard tyres on Sunday with McLaren, Haas and Alfa Romeo doing the same.
But while Alpine took the hit in doing so in order to make it a one-stop race, Lando Norris was the only other driver to run the hards in a two-stop strategy and score points.
Villeneuve added: “Something has gone horribly wrong. It’s incomprehensible that something like this happens in a sport where only the best of the best work.”
Ferrari eventually pitted Leclerc for a third time after he was overtaken by Max Verstappen and then George Russell. That dropped him to P6, the driver unable to recover in the final 15 laps.
Leclerc was not at all happy.
Going into the summer break trailing Max Verstappen by 80 points, he told PA: “A race like this is frustrating and we need to get better as a whole.
“It feels like there is always something going wrong – reliability, mistakes, whatever. We need to be better at putting a weekend together.”
Another day, another Ferrari disaster
Even Charles Leclerc labelled his strategy at Ferrari a "disaster" in Hungary.