Ferrari’s F1 strategy calls at French Grand Prix

Carlos Sainz defends Ferrari’s F1 strategy calls after they helped Charles Leclerc win the French Grand Prix pole position.

In recent races, Ferrari has been criticized for strategy calls that cost it huge results, notably as Leclerc’s pit error that cost him victory in Monaco.

Ferrari planned for Sainz to tow Leclerc in his slipstream in Q3 at Paul Ricard to counter Red Bull’s back straight speed advantage.

Leclerc, who acknowledges Ferrari botched the first Q3 run, beat Max Verstappen by 0.304 seconds.

Sainz, who will start last due to a power unit change, feels Ferrari’s qualifying tactics showed how “solid” the squad is strategically.

“Our strategy has been criticized,” Sainz stated. “I think it’s unfair because every team will make tyre-related blunders this season.

“Today indicates that the team’s plan has been solid this year. The relationship with Charles and the team’s work also show that we’re working well together.

“That’s great. We and Ferrari had a great day.”

Ferrari took a grid penalty at Paul Ricard so Sainz could potentially recover.

When asked about an acceptable race level, Sainz said: “I don’t have a reference, and with half the season left and the way I’m running, as fast I was in Q2, Austria, and Silverstone, it’s not worth thinking about.

“I’ll keep thinking about going back to last year’s level, and today proves that I’m getting there. I’ll keep trying until the team tells me differently.

“But with half the season left and all that’s transpired, I have options.”