Charles Leclerc wants an explanation from Ferrari to understand the team’s strategy but says a one-two result in the Singapore Grand Prix massively exceeds expectations.
Saturday’s pole position was Leclerc’s third in a row and the most surprising of that run given it came on a street circuit where Ferrari expected to struggle. In the race, Leclerc kept the pace slow in the opening stint but ended up behind teammate Sebastian Vettel — who had been running third — after the pit stops. Vettel went on to win from Leclerc, and the Monegasque was clearly questioning the strategy during the race as he ultimately missed out on a third straight victory.
“I was surprised because I was not aware in the car, but I guess if this decision has been made, it was for the good of the team and it had to be the only way for us to do a one-two,” Leclerc said. “If this is the case then I completely understand but obviously from the car it is a bit frustrating.
“I’m not completely happy today but anyway, the overall result for weekend is very positive. We hoped for at least one car on the podium for this weekend and we go back home with a one-two, which we definitely didn’t expect on a track like this. So this is very positive.
“Today, I don’t think I could have done things much better or differently. The only thing I will probably do is ask a bit more about strategy around me — who is pitting and who is not — because I was not aware. So I don’t know if I should have pushed more in the first stint. We have plenty of data and we will analyze it.
“During the safety car I was quite often on the radio, but as soon as safety car went away then I focused on my job and tried to do the best of my race. Of course in the car it’s frustrating and then as soon as I thought more about the situation after, you see things a bit differently, even though I still need some explanations to understand fully why this decision was taken. It’s always frustrating in the car because you only see your situation and you don’t see everything else.”
Leclerc admits the way the strategy panned out — with Vettel getting the undercut to jump both Leclerc and Hamilton ahead of him — was not discussed pre-race, and then he did not ask to be let back ahead of his teammate during his radio messages.
“No, we didn’t speak about that plan at all. This will be one of the discussions, to try and understand why we didn’t speak about that situation before. But it’s impossible to go through all the possibilities in a race. All of them are unique. But no, we didn’t speak about this particular situation.
“(Swapping places) wasn’t discussed on the radio. I just waited for the decision of the team, whether they thought it was the thing to do or not. It didn’t happen but I didn’t expect anything. I just focused on my job, waiting to see if they say anything.”