Maurizio Arrivabene admits Ferrari got it wrong with its strategy in the Canadian Grand Prix and that the team failed to predict that eventual winner Lewis Hamilton would be able to go to the end without stopping more than once.
Sebastian Vettel put Ferrari into a position to challenge for the victory after a brilliant start saw him move from third to first on the run down to the first corner.
However, Vettel – and team-mate Kimi Raikonen - were then called in early as the Scuderia looked to make the most of a Virtual Safety Car period, a decision that lost the German track position, and eventually left him 5secs back in second at the chequered flag.
“I have to apologise to the team because straight after the race Sky Sports F1
UK jumped on me and said, 'Who was the guy that made the mistake on the strategy?' First of all, in my role, I don't have to indicate anyone because if, and I underline if, there is a mistake, this mistake is on my shoulders and not on my team,” Arrivabene said.
“Having said so, I think the question is, 'What about the strategy?' It is quite clear if you look that only two pilots that were doing one stop [finished in the top-ten], one was [Valtteri] Bottas and the other one was Hamilton. We [just] didn't predict that Hamilton was able to go to the end of the race.”
Pressed on how difficult it is to get the strategy right – and when it was pointed out it is not the first time this season the Scuderia has got it wrong, he added: “Are you an expert in strategy to say that it didn't work out and that it is not the first time?
“If you are not, I tell you that okay we tried to do a strategy that created some risk to us – but it was not written in the strategy.
“It was the wrong one.”
Meanwhile, Arrivabene confirmed that at no stage did the team think about doing just one stop.
“No, since the beginning it was a two-stop strategy. As for the other team [Mercedes], I heard also that Lewis was on a two-stop strategy.
“So [under] the virtual safety car, we thought that it was the time to call him in immediately and to take an advantage.
“But it didn't work.”