Team boss Frédéric Vasseur thinks that Ferrari had better tire management during the Las Vegas Grand Prix than Red Bull. According to the Frenchman, Max Verstappen suffered much more from relegation, and it was mainly due to bad luck with the safety car that Ferrari could not take the victory. Vasseur was also surprised by Leclerc’s overtaking action on Sergio Pérez.
“I think Verstappen had more degradation and that he already destroyed the (medium, ed.) tire before we did,” Vasseur analyzes the tire use at the Las Vegas race, according to RaceFans. ‘But he was already in the lead before that. It meant we had almost the same pace for the whole stint, but we were probably better at tire management during the first stint with the medium tyre.”
According to Vasseur, the tire management at Ferrari was no worse than at Red Bull during the stint on the hard tire. ‘I’m not sure if it wasn’t exactly the same on the hard, because on the hard he pitted and he had the tires with five or six laps less than us. At the end I felt like we came back compared to Pérez and the pace was there. I think the tire management was good.’
Ferrari had bad luck with the safety car
According to the French team boss, tire management was not the reason why Ferrari could not win. The timing of the safety car did cost Ferrari the win. However, according to Vasseur, it was not an option to bring Leclerc in again. ‘ Then we talk about a what-if scenario. We did not consider stopping Charles, because the big advantage for Max was that he had stopped ten laps earlier. At that moment you don’t know who will stop and what consequences that will have for the positions on the track.’
Leclerc managed to fight back to P2, something that even his team boss did not see coming at the time. ‘I said a lap earlier that Charles was going to try with Pérez. But I saw the difference on my monitor and shouted: wow, no, that hole is too big. I was a bit surprised that it worked, less surprised than Checo (Pérez, ed.), but it was a nice action. Charles was motivated to the core.”