British Grand Prix – Charles Leclerc, four years of suffering at Ferrari: strategic options, mistakes …

Australian Grand Prix 2019: First Grand Prix, first match

The context

In the low season, Charles Leclerc ascends to the Scuderia, where Sebastian Vettel is the undisputed number one. From his first Grand Prix with Ferrari in Melbourne, the Monegasque discovered that it would be very difficult for him to move the lines. Packed by the German at the start, the young driver took advantage of a stop too soon from the world champion to jump on him at the end of the race. To the point of being able to overcome it.

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Then he decides to put the Scuderia face to face with his responsibilities. And he asks:I have to stay behind Sebastian, yes or no?“The answer couldn’t be clearer from the low wall:”Yes, and it leaves some room. ”

How Leclerc reacted

I couldn’t move forward, it’s a shame. […] Like I said, the team asked us to take positions and that’s what we did.

2019 Chinese Grand Prix: Change in China

The context

Leclerc comes out of a good Grand Prix at Sakhir. But his podium is still insufficient to reverse the statutes. A quarter of the grid behind his companion, the little prince surprised him at the exit. The Mercedes pulls away and Ferrari quickly presses his foal: “You have to go faster, otherwise you have to let Sebastian pass“In the eleventh round, the penalty falls:”Let Sebastian pass. Let Sebastian pass. “

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The Monegasque complies but manages to stay behind his teammate. And let it be known:I waste a lot of timeexclaims. I don’t know if this interests you …“. The answer is no. In fact, the team wants to protect Vettel from an undermined Verstappen, then fifth. Leclerc is left on the track and finishes the race behind the Dutchman.

How Leclerc reacted (on Canal +)

I have to discuss it, to be able to review the general situation. From the cabin, it was a little hard to digest. But sometimes it doesn’t look the same as on the wall, so I prefer not to comment.

Singapore Grand Prix 2019: the reduction of discord

The context

Monegasque is asserted. At the pole in Singapore, where Ferrari had the lead over Mercedes, Leclerc widened the gap early in the race. But on the 20th lap, the Escuderia decided to take the German one lap ahead of their young driver. The four-time world champion takes advantage of the undermining to virtually take control of the race.

Charles Leclerc, Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) at the 2019 Singapore Grand Prix

Credit: Getty Images

What !?n ° 16 is surprised. To be completely honest, I don’t understand the cut. But we’ll talk about it after the race“Laurent Mekies spoke:”Charles, it was the best we could do. “Vettel wins ahead of his neighbor in the area.

How Leclerc reacted (on Canal +)

I just wanted to make it clear that I was very unhappy in the car and that this scenario had not been discussed at all during the meeting. So it’s always a little frustrating, from the car, when it happens that way.

Spanish Grand Prix 2020: no attachment

The context

38th round. Leclerc’s Ferrari suffers an electric shock. The pilot tries to restart the machine … in vain. Then he decides to separate but suddenly the car restarts. The Monegasque is leaving without a belt – something that is obviously forbidden by the regulations – asking for a pit stop on his pole to rectify the situation, with a new coupling.

Will you need help?“, asks Xavi Marcos, his engineer.Of course I need helpthe pilot replies. There, it’s like you just got in the car!“When he gets back to the box, the mechanics are busy around him. Alone.”Xavi, I told you to make another one …“, he will breathe, finally forced to give up.

Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) takes off his gloves during his retirement from the Spanish Grand Prix, August 16, 2020

Credit: Getty Images

I didn’t think I would get back on track. Then I managed to restart the engine and start again. I took a slow walk […] then on the second lap when I started pushing I noticed that one of the four buckles we have in the harness was not attached. So I told the team and I stopped right away …

Russian Grand Prix 2021: the wrong choice

The context

Ferrari is unfortunately known for its misinterpretations of weather data. In Sochi, Leclerc got a good comeback after coming out from the bottom of the grid. At the end of the race a rain appeared, discreet at the beginning, which allowed the Monegasque to continue his effort with fresh “medium” tires that still gave a good performance in these conditions.

Three laps from the end, as the rain intensifies, the Escuderia must decide: aim for the podium leaving Leclerc on the track or play it safe with a pit stop and settle for a few points . The first option is chosen. Not the right one. Leclerc fails in 15th position.

How Leclerc reacted (on Canal +)

And in one turn, we lost everything. It could have helped the team better make the right decision.

Turkish Grand Prix 2021: Repeated encore

The context

New Grand Prix, similar conditions. Two weeks after watering Sochi, the rain falls in Istanbul. So Leclerc and Ferrari decide to bet: complete the 58 laps of the race with the same set of “intermediate” tires. At 20 loops from the finish, most of the peloton understands that this option is too risky and opts for the stop. For its part, Ferrari leaves the decision to the Monegasque, then at the helm in front of a horde of drivers equipped with new tires.

The pilot is trying to gather accurate information: “If we keep this pace, what position can we claim?“The Squadron responds without getting wet:”If we can keep Bottas back, first. “Elementary. Actually, the other drivers put their tires in the correct operation window. Leclerc has to imitate them by stopping. He finishes fourth.

How Leclerc reacted (on Canal +)

The second set of tires was very complicated to assemble and this unfortunately cost us the podium. We made the wrong decision.

Monaco Grand Prix 2022: The disaster

The context

In the Principality, Leclerc is aiming for a first victory at home. And Ferrari, twice as much. At the controls of a race started on a wet track, the Escuderia is sunk. First stopping his leader one lap too late. Then by delaying him in a double stop with Carlos Sainz. “Shit …! But what are you doing?“, annoys the Monegasque on the radio. Consequence: Red Bull puts his two cars in front of the venue, which ends at the foot of the podium.

How Leclerc reacted (on Canal +)

I’m disgusted. We had everything to gain and we threw it in the trash because it hurts.

British Grand Prix 2022: The Sacrifice

The context

In an ideal position after the problems encountered by Verstappen and Pérez, Ferrari decided not to choose. At the start of the race, the Scuderia gave no instructions and let Sainz delay his teammate. At the end of the act, after the safety car leaves, he leaves Leclerc on the track and stops the Spaniard, convinced that the “soft” tires will collapse and that a double stop is too risky.

Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) at the 2022 British Grand Prix

Credit: Getty Images

The Monegasque is trying to get out of it, at the expense of some excellent battles with Hamilton and Pérez, but he still has to miss the podium. On the radio, he smokes:The amount of time we have lost in this race is … My God. The only good thing today is Carlos ’victory. Guys … okay. Enjoy the victory. “

  • How Leclerc reacted (on Canal +)

I could have stopped, we could, but they asked me to stay on the road, so that’s what I did. Honestly, I am very, very disappointed. Especially during the first part of the race, I feel like I lost a lot of time behind Carlos. But hey, we’ll look at that with the internal team. There are things we need to talk about after this race, that’s for sure.

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