A downcast Charles Leclerc reluctantly criticized his Ferrari team on Sunday after their botched strategy and confused communications cost him a likely win at home Monaco Grand Prix.
The 24-year-old Monegasque driver finished fourth after holding a dominant lead from pole position while Red Bull triumphed with superior strategic decisions Sergio Perez gets his first win of the year.
The Mexican came home earlier Carlo Sainz in the second Ferrari and his Red Bull teammate world champion Max Verstappen for his third career win after winning the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix and the 2021 Baku race.
Leclerc’s race depended on an erroneous pit stop as he pulled in behind Sainz in a ‘double stack’ as Ferrari attempted to switch to dry dry tires in changing conditions.
But when he came in, the team realized rival Red Bull were “undercutting” them by doing the same and tried to reverse his decision and ask him to stay out as he was ready to regain his lead.
“I don’t understand why we changed our minds” said Leclerc.
“We were undercut and then got stuck behind Carlos. There were a lot of mistakes and we can’t afford that.
“I’m used to coming home disappointed, but we can’t do that, especially at a moment now when we’re extremely strong. We have to take chances. We can’t lose points that way.
“I love my team. We will come back stronger, but it hurts a lot.”
He added that not only was the botched instruction change wrong, but so was the original decision to bring him in to switch from intermediate to ‘slick’ dry tyres.
“The first was a clear decision and a very wrong one. From that moment the chaos began. I don’t know if it was panic – I don’t hear all the background material between the team so it’s not up to me to judge.
“The last message I had wasn’t clear because I was told to come in and then stay out, but I was already in pit lane – and that’s when I said it over the radio because I knew it was done was.”
When asked by Sky Sports if he felt let down by Ferrari, he was careful about his words.
“Don’t let down isn’t the right word” he said.
“Sometimes mistakes can happen, but today there were too many mistakes.”
Sainz was also disappointed, claiming he might have won had he not been released from his pit stop behind a slowly lapped car.
“It cost me a win” said the Spaniard.
“We made the right decision, pitted for the hard tyre, but an outlap is never easy. I won’t complain too much. In this sport it costs you.”
Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto said he understood Charles Leclerc’s disappointment.
“Overall a disappointing result and a difficult race”, he said.
“I understand Charles’ disappointment – he thinks there was something wrong with our decisions.
“I think we underestimated the pace of the intermediate tires and we should have let him out longer, maybe too late. Mistakes happen and more importantly we need to understand why.”
Binotto added Ferrari felt Red Bull broke regulations by crossing a yellow line when exiting pit lane.
“We ask the FIA for clarification” he said.
He admitted the team made other mistakes, including releasing Sainz and Leclerc into difficult track positions.
“It’s because of mistakes that we have to analyze, because of a lot of situations that weren’t in our favour. We made mistakes and I take responsibility for that.”
RESULTS OF THE MONACO GRAND PRIX, THE SEVENTH ROUND OF THE FORMULA ONE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP, ON SUNDAY:
1. Sergio Pérez (MEX/Red Bull) 1h56m30.265s, 2. Carlos Sainz Jr. (ESP/Ferrari) with 1.154s, 3. Max Verstappen (NED/Red Bull) 1.491, 4. Charles Leclerc (MON/Ferrari) 2.922 5 George Russell (GBR/Mercedes) 11.96 6 Lando Norris (GBR/McLaren-Mercedes) 12.231 7 Fernando Alonso (ESP/Alpine-Renault) 46.358 8 Lewis Hamilton (GBR/Mercedes) 50.388 9 Valtteri Bottas (FIN/Alfa Romeo) 52.525 10 Sebastian Vettel (GER/Aston Martin-Mercedes) 53.536 11 Pierre Gasly (FRA/AlphaTauri-Red Bull) 54.289 12 Esteban Ocon (FRA/Alpine-Renault) 55.644* 13 Daniel Ricciardo (AUS/McLaren-Mercedes) 57.635 14 Lance Stroll (CAN/Aston Martin-Mercedes) 1:00.802 15 Nicholas Latifi (CAN/Williams -Mercedes) in lap 1, 16. Zhou Guanyu (CHN/Alfa Romeo) 1 lap, 17. Yuki Tsunoda (JPN/AlphaTauri-Red Bull) 1 lap
Note: Esteban Ocon received a 5 second penalty for causing a collision
Fastest lap: Lando Norris (GBR/McLaren Mercedes)
DNF: Kevin Magnussen (DEN/Haas-Ferrari), Mick Schumacher (GER/Haas-Ferrari), Alexander Albon (THA/Williams-Mercedes)
1. Max Verstappen (NED) 125 points, 2. Charles Leclerc (MON) 116, 3. Sergio Pérez (MEX) 110, 4. George Russell (GBR) 84, 5. Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) 83, 6. Lewis Hamilton (GBR) 50 7th Lando Norris (GBR) 48 8th Valtteri Bottas (FIN) 40 9th Esteban Ocon (FRA) 30 10th Kevin Magnussen (DEN) 15 11th Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) 11 , 12. Yuki Tsunoda (JPN) 11, 13. Fernando Alonso (ESP) 10, 14. Pierre Gasly (FRA) 6, 15. Sebastian Vettel (GER) 5, 16. Alexander Albon (THA) 3, 17. Lance Stroll (CAN) 2, 18 Zhou Guanyu (CHN) 1, 19 Mick Schumacher (GER) 0, 20 Nico Hulkenberg (GER) 0, 21 Nicholas Latifi (CAN) 0
1st Red Bull 235 points 2nd Ferrari 199 3rd Mercedes 134 4th McLaren-Mercedes 59 5th Alfa Romeo 4 6th Alpine-Renault 40 7th AlphaTauri-Red Bull 17 8th Haas-Ferrari 15, 9. Aston Martin-Mercedes 7, 10. Williams-Mercedes 3
By Garrin Lambley © Agence France-Presse
Charles Leclerc blames Ferrari for mistakes
Source link Charles Leclerc blames Ferrari for mistakes