Charles Leclerc fumes as Ferrari block post-race burnouts in Abu Dhabi

Jamie Woodhouse
Ferrari's Charles Leclerc at the Singapore Grand Prix.

Ferrari's Charles Leclerc not happy after Abu Dhabi burnout request rejected.

Charles Leclerc put the bleep machine into use after Ferrari denied his request to do some doughnuts after the curtain came down on F1 2023 in Abu Dhabi.

Leclerc started from the front row for the final round of the season in Abu Dhabi, looking to double Ferrari’s win tally for F1 2023 after Carlos Sainz’s Singapore GP victory, the only non-Red Bull winner of the season.

Leclerc finished where he started though in P2, as Max Verstappen capped off a season of mind-boggling dominance with a 19th win.

Charles Leclerc not happy over Ferrari burnouts rejection

So, as the chequered flag fell in Abu Dhabi to bring F1 2023 to an end and the drivers made their way back round to the start/finish straight, a common sight is for them to put on a smoky display with some doughnuts on the grid before their challengers head into retirement.

Verstappen did so, but Leclerc was told by Ferrari that he could not, triggering a sweary response.

The exchange between Leclerc and his race engineer Xavier Marcos Padros went as follows:

Leclerc: “Can I do some burnouts please?”

Marcos Pardos: “No burnouts please. Straight to the grid.”

Leclerc: “Arghhhh, not even this for f*ck sake.” recommends

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Despite his best efforts, Leclerc was unable to drive Ferrari to the runner-up spot in the Constructors’ Championship, George Russell joining Leclerc and Verstappen on the podium as Mercedes secured P2 by a mere three points.

With Sergio Perez carrying a five-second penalty, Leclerc allowed the Red Bull driver through as he tried to get Perez five-second ahead of Russell and swing the result in Ferrari’s favour.

Vasseur confirmed that this ultimately unsuccessful attempt was Leclerc’s initiative, and felt his driver could have been more aggressive in backing Russell up.

“Yeah, it was Charles, could have been a bit more aggressive and to try to slow down Russell,” Vasseur told Sky F1.

But, Vasseur preferred to reflect on the positive note of the podium, as Ferrari look ahead to F1 2024, where a fresh attempt at a title challenge will be the goal.

“But on the other end, I think for the team, it’s also important to finish on the positive tone,” he continued.

“Charles P2 in the race and to finish like this, I think it’s a first good step for next year.”

Leclerc said he had no interest in where he finished in the Drivers’ Championship, but for the record, it was P5, six points and two places ahead of Ferrari team-mate Sainz.

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