Ferrari’s director of race strategy, Inaki Rueda, reflected on Charles Leclerc’s race in Montreal. He explains how the Monegasque driver approached this Grand Prix of Canada knowing that he would be penalised.
“With Charles, we had a very special weekend because we arrived knowing that we would have to start from the back of the grid” explained Rueda. “Knowing that, we organized his whole weekend differently. His tire allocation for Friday was different, his qualifying plan was different, and even his tire for the start of the race was different.
« Starting from 19th, Charles’ aim was to overtake as many cars as possible in the first stint and then do what we call an offset strategy. An offset strategy is to put the hard tire on for a very long stint at the start, then to put on, for a very short stint at the end, a medium tire or a soft tyre. »
Rueda says Leclerc’s first stint was crucial for his comeback, before he met Esteban Ocon on his way. His end of the race could have been better if his pit stop had not been missed by the Scuderia, which revived Leclerc further.
“Charles managed to do a very good stint and from 19th on the grid he found himself sixth at the start of the race. When he got behind Ocon he found himself behind a car with very cooler. Charles tried as hard as he could but he couldn’t get past Ocon. »
« At that time we tried to pass a large group of cars at the back, but we saw that Ocon’s pace was not good enough to pass them. But a slow pit stop made that Charles came out behind this whole group. »
“Charles did a good job and he managed to overtake everyone to then stay on track during the safety car and finish fifth.