Christian Horner admitted that Ferrari’s decision to delay Sebastian Vettel’s final pitsop during the Japanese Grand Prix was questionable as it resulted in him losing his place to Lewis Hamilton.
During the second half of the race, the German was chasing down Red Bull youngster Max Verstappen, who was occupying P2, and race leader Nico Rosberg.
Trying to gain an advantage, the Scuderia decided to leave the quadruple World Champion on the Suzuka circuit for a longer middle stint and then put him on softs for a final stint. The strategy failed as Hamilton managed to pip his rival for a spot on the podium.
“We toyed with that because once you have been undercut, then you have to try something different,” Horner revealed.
“So we went longer, but the tyres were dropping off at a point where we didn’t think we could get to the end on the soft.
“So it was a question of again going on the hard. But what really surprised us was Sebastian going onto the soft tyre when he was in the position of reasonable strength around Max with 19 laps to go.
“That surprised us quite a bit.”