Charles Leclerc says Ferrari made “too many mistakes” in the Monaco Grand Prix as he fell from the lead to finish his home race in fourth.
Leclerc was leading from pole position in wet conditions and looked comfortable, but Ferrari then called him in for a pit stop to switch to intermediate tires two laps after Sergio Perez, giving up the lead to the Mexican. Compounding that error, the team then opted to pit both drivers for slicks three laps later, with Leclerc losing time behind team-mate Carlos Sainz after an attempt to reverse the call came too late, dropping him to fourth.
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“Letdown is not the word, some mistakes can happen, but there have been too many mistakes today, overall,” Leclerc said. “In those conditions you rely a little bit on what the team can see … I’ve been asked questions whether I wanted to go from extreme wet to the slicks, and I said ‘Yes, but not now, later on in the race’.
“I don’t understand what made us change our mind and go on the intermediates. We got undercut and I stopped behind Carlos. I mean, there’s been a lot of mistakes and we cannot afford to do that. It’s hard, as it’s been the other years here, so I’m getting used to getting back home disappointed.
“But yeah, we cannot do that, especially in the moment we are in now, when we are extremely strong, we need to take these opportunities, and it’s not even first to second, it’s first to fourth, because after the first mistakes we’ve done another one. I love my team and I am sure I will come back stronger but it hurts a lot.”
Leclerc – who at least registered his first ever finish in his home race in Formula 1 – says it was the initial pit stop that frustrated him the most as he felt it was obviously an incorrect call, compared to the confusion that followed around the second stop.
“I think the first one was a very clear decision, and a very wrong one, and from that moment onward the mess started. I don’t know if it’s panic, I don’t know, I obviously don’t hear all the background in the team … this is not up to me to judge.
“The last message that I had wasn’t clear, because I was told to stay out, but I was already in the pit lane, and that’s where I basically let it all out on the radio and screamed, because I knew I was done.”