Leclerc rues Ferrari strategy call after first becomes fourth

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Leclerc rues Ferrari strategy call after first becomes fourth

Formula 1

Leclerc rues Ferrari strategy call after first becomes fourth

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Charles Leclerc says Ferrari’s decision not to give him fresh tires at the end of the British Grand Prix led to a frustrating slip back through the field from the lead.

Damage for Max Verstappen resulted in the two Ferraris leading from Lewis Hamilton, with Carlos Sainz ahead of Leclerc, who was faster despite his own front wing damage. Eventually Ferrari swapped the positions to prevent Hamilton closing in any further, but then a late Safety Car prompted Sainz and Hamilton to take new tires immediately. Leclerc was left out while the rest of the field also stopped, leaving him unable to defend on old rubber.

“The very last part really (didn’t play out for us), just from the Safety Car onwards,” Leclerc said. “Before that we were extremely quick. The first lap I thought it was over, I saw the front wing fly off and I was like ‘that doesn’t look good’, but after that we managed to find the right balance, change the tools a little, change the driving a little, and managed to find a good rhythm.

“All was looking good for victory, but obviously with the Safety Car at the end we decided to leave the lead car out and to pit the trailing car – which was myself and Carlos – and it didn’t pay off for me, which is a big disappointment.

“On the other hand it’s great for Carlos. Obviously it’s a dream come true for him, I’m sure. But I can’t hide my disappointment on my own race. It’s frustrating.”

Leclerc eventually finished fourth after some thrilling scraps with Hamilton and Sergio Perez, and while he was proud of the way he fought, he wants an explanation from the team as to why it chose not to pit him.

“I don’t know, I need to… again, from the outside, until you actually get all the full details of one decision, it’s difficult to comment,” he said. “Of course the frustration is high, because the end result is that my race was very difficult after that. I was just trying to do my best to keep the cars behind, but obviously on a new soft and a used hard there’s quite a big difference.

“So I did my best. It was fun, the last part of the race. It was very, very tricky – on the limit everywhere – but that’s what I had to do to try and keep the positions and I don’t think I could have done much better there, so I will just analyze it with the team to understand if there was anything better that we could have done.”

 

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