After Red Bull’s Sergio Perez surged ahead into second place, Ferrari drivers Sainz and Leclerc found themselves jostling for third and fourth. Instead of instructing them to maintain their positions and secure valuable points, Team Principal Frederic Vasseur sent the word down the line: they were free to duke it out on the asphalt, as long as they played it safe.
Leclerc didn’t shy away from taking his chances to overtake Sainz, even going so far as to lock his wheels at the first turn on the ultimate lap. Despite these audacious maneuvers, Sainz maintained his lead and snagged the coveted podium spot.
When questioned about his choice to let the drivers race, Vasseur said, “Had I enforced a position freeze, you’d be asking why I did that. It’s always easier to judge in hindsight, but I felt this was the best way to show our gratitude to our passionate fans, the tifosi. I wasn’t comfortable freezing the race five laps before the finish line.”
He added, “I have faith in my drivers to race sensibly, albeit ‘no risk’ is a relative term. Nevertheless, I’m quite pleased with my decision and with the performances the drivers delivered today.”
Vasseur made it clear that he was the sole decision-maker when it came to allowing his drivers to race. “I wanted the final say on this. I told them to go ahead and race, but to keep it risk-free. What constitutes a ‘risk,’ however, can be subjective. Still, I was more at ease letting them race than enforcing a freeze.”
When asked about his feelings post-race, Vasseur stated, “You could argue whether it was too much or just right, but ultimately, the end justifies the means, and I couldn’t be happier with the result.”
Sainz, who was under the gun in the race’s final moments, described his tussle with Leclerc as “clean.” “The car in the DRS zone typically feels like the faster car,” said the Spaniard. “But both of us were contending for a podium in Monza, so a little bit of on-track skirmish was inevitable. We managed to keep our cool, and I even enjoyed racing against Max [Verstappen] and Checo [Perez]. It was a blockbuster day for F1.”
Regarding any worries he might have had, Sainz commented, “I never felt we were courting danger. There’s always more tension when racing a teammate. The last thing we’d want is to collide in front of our fans. Yet, we had a hard-fought battle for a pivotal position and kept things professional.”
Leclerc concurred with Sainz, emphasizing the thrill of their duel. “We were both pushing the envelope,” he said. “Earning a podium in front of our fans means the world to both of us. We understood the gravity of the situation but relished the competition.”
Leclerc also touched on the caveat about avoiding risks, saying, “Both of us pushed the regulatory boundaries—in terms of both defense and offense. Yet, everything ended on a high note, so no complaints there.”
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Vasseur’s Decision to Let Sainz and Leclerc Race
What was Frederic Vasseur’s decision regarding Sainz and Leclerc during the race?
Frederic Vasseur, the Team Principal of Scuderia Ferrari, decided to let Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc race against each other for the third and fourth positions. He did not ask them to hold their respective places but instructed them to keep it “risk-free.”
Why did Vasseur make this decision?
Vasseur felt that letting his drivers race was the best way to show gratitude to Ferrari’s dedicated fans, known as the tifosi. He also mentioned that he wasn’t comfortable freezing the race positions so close to the end and trusted his drivers to manage the situation responsibly.
Did Leclerc attempt to overtake Sainz during the race?
Yes, Charles Leclerc made several daring moves to try and overtake Carlos Sainz. Despite these efforts, including locking his wheels at the first turn on the last lap, Leclerc was unable to pass Sainz, who ultimately secured the podium spot.
How did Sainz describe the battle with Leclerc?
Carlos Sainz characterized the battle with his teammate Charles Leclerc as “clean.” He noted that although there’s always more tension when racing a teammate, both drivers understood the importance of the situation and managed to keep things professional.
What was Leclerc’s response to the racing strategy?
Charles Leclerc echoed Sainz’s sentiments, expressing that he enjoyed the competitive nature of the duel. He mentioned that both drivers were pushing the envelope but that the overarching goal was to secure a podium finish for Ferrari, especially in front of their passionate fan base, the tifosi.
What does “no risk” mean in this context?
The term “no risk,” as used by Vasseur, is subjective and open to interpretation. However, the general understanding was that while the drivers were allowed to race, they were also expected to exercise caution to prevent any incidents that might lead to a crash or jeopardize the team’s chances.
Was Vasseur satisfied with the outcome of his decision?
Yes, Frederic Vasseur expressed that he was more than happy with the outcome. He felt his decision was vindicated by the fact that both drivers raced hard but responsibly, leading to a strong finish for the team.
What was at stake during this race in Monza?
The race in Monza was particularly significant for Ferrari and its drivers because they were competing in front of their home crowd, the tifosi. A podium finish was highly coveted, adding an extra layer of excitement and tension to the duel between Sainz and Leclerc.
More about Vasseur’s Decision to Let Sainz and Leclerc Race
- Official FIA Post-Race Press Conference
- Scuderia Ferrari Team Website
- Formula 1 Monza Grand Prix Recap
- Frederic Vasseur’s Interview on Team Strategy
- Carlos Sainz’s Post-Race Remarks
- Charles Leclerc’s Thoughts on the Monza Race
- Overview of the Tifosi’s Influence on Ferrari
- Understanding Formula 1 Team Strategies
- An In-Depth Look at the Monza Circuit
- The Importance of Podium Finishes in F1