Ferrari, sports director Rueda dismisses allegations

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Ferrari’s chief strategist under indictment

Ferrari’s technical and strategy director, Spaniard Iñaki Rueda, has come under indictment for the marked deterioration of the Prancing Horse’s single-seaters in the second half of the season, as well as for repeated strategy errors throughout the championship.

“Our predictions before the GP confirmed how the race was really pulled at the level of strategy between the single medium-hard stop and the two-pit stop. We had the luxury of having two sets of hard tires, which few had. We thought the fastest strategy was the double pit stop, and therefore medium-hard-hard. However, we approached the race with an open mind. We started on medium tires with the purpose of seeing how things were going to evolve regarding our two end-of-season goals. As for Carlos’s race, Hamilton took his position at the start and then took it back in turn-6 with great braking. We had to decide which strategy to adopt with him and we chose for a two-stop tactic, also because we had to fight the Mercedes that were behind. Hamilton chose to stop once and he was very close to the end, we believe that Carlos would have had the better of it anyway,” explained the Spanish executive.

“As for Charles’ race, he was playing with Perez. Despite the fact that the Mexican was in front, Charles got very close to him, to the point of entering the undercut window on lap 15. Perez thus had to stop early and was forced into the two-stop strategy. We kept Charles out as long as possible so that we could then decide whether to stop once or twice. Even in the second stint Charles gained on Perez, and by lap 33 we were back in the undercut window. Perez had to make a decision: stop again or let Charles do the undercut? Perez decided to stop and therefore Charles stayed on the track and executed the one-stop strategy perfectly. So, on Sunday the GP was clearly not about one or two stops, but it was about executing the race plan as best as possible. We will analyze this race and all the others in order to improve for 2023. We look forward to fighting for the title,” Rueda continued.

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