Leclerc fumes over botched Ferrari strategy
Charles Leclerc was furious with his Ferrari team after a botched call for him to pit backfired, dropping him down to fourth place on the road.
The Monegasque driver had been leading his home race from the off, in a frantic Monaco Grand Prix in mixed conditions that saw multiple strategies play out as the track began to dry.
Leclerc’s Ferrari team-mate Carlos Sainz was brought in for dry tyres, with race engineer Xavier Marcos Padros telling him to follow suit – but by the time the team had changed their mind, Leclerc was already in the pit lane and swearing over team radio and questioning Ferrari’s indecisiveness.
As a result, Leclerc dropped back to P4 and out of the podium places, with Sergio Perez taking the lead of the race and Sainz and Max Verstappen also following through.
Would not like to be on the Ferrari pit wall having to listen to Charles Leclerc right now 👀 #MonacoGP #F1
— PlanetF1 (@Planet_F1) May 29, 2022
His disdain for his situation clearly did not improve later on either. When given information about his situation in the final 15 minutes of the red-flag-interrupted race, he retorted: “I don‘t need the feedback. I won‘t be able to overtake anyway. It‘s okay.”
The top four drivers all ran nose-to-tail for most of the closing stages, but Leclerc could not make his way back into the podium places, as Perez went on to take victory ahead of Sainz and Verstappen.
And once the chequered flag dropped, Leclerc’s message to his team was a blunt one: “No words. The season is long, but we cannot do that.”
The Ferrari driver fell nine points behind Verstappen at the top of the Drivers’ Championship standings, after finishing his home race for the first time at the fourth attempt in Formula 1.
Perez brought himself into contention at the top of the championship with his victory, moving to within 15 points of his Red Bull team-mate after the third grand prix win of his career – making him the most successful Mexican in the sport’s history.