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Ferrari explain bizarre Leclerc qualifying strategy call

Ferrari continued their spate of 2022 strategy mistakes by sending Charles Leclerc out on the wrong tyres in Q3 for the Brazilian Grand Prix qualifying session.

Ferrari's Laurent Mekies has defended the strategy call Ferrari made on Charles Leclerc's car in Brazilian Grand Prix F1 qualifying. With rain incoming for Q3 at Interlagos, Leclerc was the only driver to venture out on Intermediate tyres, with the other nine drivers choosing the Soft tyres. Leclerc did not pit to rectify the issue on his out lap, instead committing to a flying lap, before aborting it to dive in for slicks. However, the rain began to fall during the red flag period to recover George Russell's stricken Mercedes, leaving the Monegasque in 10th having not officially completed a lap in Q3. Speaking after the latest blunder, Racing Director Mekies defended the call, although a similar one was not made on the sister Ferrari of Carlos Sainz.

Mekies defends decision

"It was a difficult qualifying as it was very, very intense for all teams, it was the sort of qualifying where you need to make a lot of calls," Mekies explained to media. "Some of the ones we made worked, some of them worked less. "It is frustrating as we got both cars into Q3, and then we were confronted with a choice. "On one side, you have the track still being dry, and there is the golden rule that says you should go on the track when it is dry. "On the other side, we were expecting heavy rain imminently, and we split out cars. "Depending on the exact timing of the rain, you're going to have one happy and one unhappy [driver]. "That is exactly what happened. "The rain came probably a minute or two late for Charles, and it was the right timing for Carlos. "It is what it is with Carlos P5 and Charles P10."

Ferrari aiming to learn lessons

Ferrari's season has been blighted by a series of strategic blunders, with the team adding to this with an earlier incident in qualifying where Leclerc was left stranded in the pit lane while the team debated which tyres to put on the car. Mekies is confident the team will learn the lessons they need to eradicate mistakes at future events. "We have had many, many good qualifying [sessions] this year, including in very tricky conditions like today," he explained. "There's always a lot to learn about the right decisions you made and the less right ones. "Certainly, it is something that we have taken the good habits from to analyse in detail with the team and drivers to pull together as a group. "For sure we will use today to make another step together."

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