Ferrari reveal surprising outcome of Charles Leclerc Canada criticism talks

Sam Cooper
Charles Leclerc and Fred Vasseur speaking on the grid. Canada June 2023

Charles Leclerc and Ferrari team boss Fred Vasseur speaking on the grid. Canada June 2023

Ferrari have revealed that Charles Leclerc backed down from his strategy criticism after a full briefing with the team.

Leclerc was left irate after Ferrari refused to allow him onto the slick during a wet qualifying session and ultimately, it was a call that sent him out in Q2.

With other drivers taking the risk, the rain soon came and the grid was divided into those that had taken the risk and those that had not. Ferrari and Leclerc fell into the latter category with the Monegasque starting P10 due to his team-mate’s penalty before finding P4 on race day.

But while the mood did improve on Sunday, Leclerc was left an angry man and criticised the team for another poor decision.

“I think we are just making our life way too difficult,” he said. “In those situations, I had a clear opinion. And yeah, we decided to do something else. So, I am frustrated.”

He added: “We have to be better than that. And we cannot afford to do those mistakes again. So, I’ll speak with the team.”

But team boss Fred Vasseur claims Leclerc reversed his opinion once he saw the data that Ferrari were looking at on the pit wall.

“We had a good discussion, and he [Leclerc] said: ‘Okay I was wrong.'” Vasseur said.

“You know that I’m always trying to protect my guys – the drivers – for the team. I can perfectly understand when they jump out of the car after bad results, and they have the question from someone: were you happy with this strategy? For sure they say no.

“You will never find drivers say: ‘Yeah, it was super, I’m f****d, but it was super.’

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“The most important is that I think sometimes it’s better to speak with the team before. It is what we had [after qualifying]. It was very calm, very constructive, and very direct.”

While Saturday was another day to forget, Ferrari can take encouragement from their Sunday performance with Red Bull senior advisor going as far as to say they were the quickest car on the grid.

“What got lost a bit in Montreal [was] Ferrari had the fastest car,” Marko told oe24.

“The Red Bull Ring suits them. If Leclerc starts from row one or two, it won’t be a big Oktoberfest for Max [Verstappen].”