Mattia, how well did you sleep last night?
As the race was delayed, we came back home quite late, so I didn’t get a lot of sleep, but it felt good this morning. A Ferrari win on one of the most iconic race tracks is something very special.
On Sunday morning you had a little celebration for Carlos for his 150th Grand Prix, in the afternoon he won his first race. With a little distance, how do you feel about his performance in Silverstone?
My feelings haven’t changed since yesterday, I’m very pleased with Carlos’ performance, not only in the race, but throughout the weekend. His confidence is growing steadily and he handles difficult conditions well. His first win was only a question of time, we’ve known this from the start and, it was not only fantastic for him, but also great for us as a team to see him on the top step of the podium.
Even if Charles was happy for Carlos and celebrated with the team, it was clear that he was frustrated. Can you understand his disappointment?
For sure I can understand his frustration. When you’re comfortably leading a race with just a few laps to go and you don’t win, then it’s natural to feel disappointment. But Charles’ disappointment is also our disappointment - we win together and we lose together. We’re as frustrated as he is about his result, because the way he drove yesterday was amazing and showcased once again how strong a driver he is. Charles thoroughly deserved to win the race, if it wouldn’t have been for the safety car.
A lot of questions popped up and led to misperceptions after the race. One question being, why Ferrari didn’t ask Carlos to give up his position to Charles during the first stint already?
The answer is quite simple: it was not necessary to do it at that point and there was still a lot of time to make that decision. Our priority is always to maximise the situation in order for the best team result. Only when this goal is under threat do we need to act. We did this during the second stint and swapped cars when Carlos was not fast enough and our opponents were catching us.
The safety car caused a lot of controversy: why did we pit Carlos but not Charles?
At this moment it was common sense to prioritise the lead car by protecting track positions. There’s nothing unusual in this strategy, we always prioritise the lead car and therefore Charles in this situation. He was on fresher tyres at that point, and if he had pitted, our opponents would have done the exact opposite and gained track position on almost new hard tyres. Just think of Lewis Hamilton at last year’s season finale in Abu Dhabi when he stayed out on track.
At the same time we decided to put Carlos on the opposite strategy in order to cover all opportunities. If we wouldn’t have done that split strategy, we would have risked losing the race and handing the win to our opponents.
Why didn’t Carlos accept to give Charles ten cars length distance at the safety car restart? Was he ignoring team orders?
Absolutely not, Carlos wasn’t ignoring the team – he made it clear to us that he had to protect himself against the pressure from behind and in doing so, he was protecting our goal to stay ahead. As a team we fully appreciate this and we were all aligned. Without this insider information I can see how this could be perceived as Carlos not being a team player. But a few laps before he swapped positions without any hesitation or complaints, clearly demonstrating that he puts the team first.
So what’s next?
There are three more challenging races coming up before the summer break, and as Silverstone showed again, each race this year is absolutely unpredictable. We will make sure that we have our cars ready for the challenge and present ourselves as a strong team and a strong unit.