Mattia Binotto revealed Ferrari had made a dummy call to Charles Leclerc, tricking Red Bull into pitting Sergio Perez, hailing it a fantastic call by the team strategists.
Charles Leclerc outdrove Sergio Perez into second in the 2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, and Formula 1 Drivers’ Standings, managing his tyres perfectly to to finish the race on a one-stop strategy as opposed to his two-stopping Red Bull counterpart.
After the race, Mattia Binotto hailed his strategists, usually under fire for their blunders, claiming they dummied Red Bull into pitting Sergio Perez for a second time on lap 34, giving them an impression they were planning to undercut them by pitting Leclerc, sending him the message: “Box opposite to Red Bull.”
Red Bull reacted and pitted the Mexican, Christian Horner justifying saying: “Ferrari were gearing up for an undercut.”
Perez then had to climb back up the grid, reaching Leclerc on the final lap but with not enough time to launch a proper attack.
Binotto hails team strategists
Worth noting that despite this trick from Ferrari, after Perez’s stop, they were a bit concerned that Leclerc might be vulnerable towards the end, radio communication evidence of that, but in the end Leclerc kept it together.
Nevertheless, Binotto was rightfully proud of his team; he said: “I think that certainly the dummy call on the Red Bull was a fantastic call from the pits.
“I think it’s great for the team. It is great for the strategists, and it is great having done a solid race weekend this weekend,” he added.
“I think P2 and P2 [in the drivers’ and constructors’ championship] has been the balance of the entire season, not only today. But today certainly we did the proper job.
“The dummy pitstop on the Red Bull was the right call,” Binotto repeated. “And I think that overall, we made it right. So happy for them, happy for the team.
“I think that as well Ferrari, when it is making mistakes, there is always a lot of criticism. But, as well, I know that these guys can do very well,” the under-pressure Ferrari boss insisted.
Leclerc: That’s what was planned before
Leclerc revealed that was Ferrari’s plan to dummy Red Bull, and told Sky Sports: “I have to say that everything that we’ve done was exactly what we wanted to do.
“That’s what was planned before,” he said. “The laps where, I can say it now, where we dummied him and made him think that we were going to pit opposite. He took it and went for the second stop. So we did everything perfect. I’m very proud of our execution.”
“We executed the right one, and the one with the most pressure,” he went on. “Obviously, the outside pressure with all the rumours going around coming into the weekend, and the pressure of keeping the second place in the drivers’ and constructors’ championship.
“We managed to perform at our best in a situation like this, which makes me very proud of the team,” the Monegasque maintained.
“I don’t think that in pure pace we were stronger than Red Bull. I think Red Bull was still stronger than we were. But we pushed them into doing mistakes and pushed them into two stops and eventually that paid off. So we’re very happy,” he concluded.