F1, Ferrari under siege: Mekies spies everyone on error

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Ferrari’s sport director justified the strategy used in Q3 against Charles Leclerc

Ferrari’s sporting director Laurent Mekies responded to the criticism that came after the Spa GP qualifying, defending the strategy used in Q3 with Charles Leclerc, who was fitted with new tires despite the fact that pole was not attainable due to penalties: “With Charles, the priority was to beat the other penalized cars and so, in Q3, we decided at the last moment to send him out on the track with a new set of Soft tires so that he would be assured of the best possible position. In the race he will still have fresh tires and will be able to give battle in the middle of the pack.” In the radio exchange with the driver, the race wall had initially spoken of a “mistake.”

Mekies, on the other hand, approved of the team’s work: “We came at the end of a very intense and somewhat complicated qualifying, as is often the case here at Spa. We had very very strong rivals today, Red Bull was very fast and Max as well, but as we know both he and Charles were out of the fight for pole position because of penalties. So the battle was between Carlos, Sergio Perez and the Mercedes. We will have Sainz on pole tomorrow, we took advantage of a very good team game. It was a tough battle against Perez, as you saw Charles and Carlos gave each other the slipstream in Q2 and Q3, and it’s always a complicated strategy to execute: that’s because of the traffic, the timing and the obstacles you can find on the track. They both did a super job, the desire to help each other was one of the key factors that allowed Carlos to start from pole.”

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