Fred Vasseur details Charles Leclerc’s faulty radio and the ‘many mistakes’ Ferrari made

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

Fred Vasseur has revealed that a radio issue was behind Charles Lecerc’s annoyed exchanges over the team radio.

Not for the first time this season, Leclerc was heard at odds with his race engineer Xavier Padros.

Leclerc’s problems in Budapest were in regards to tactics with him asking to “offset in terms of strategy” in comparison to team-mate Carlos Saimz.

Padros responded to Leclerc by saying: “We are discussing it at the end.” which seemed to annoy Leclerc, who replied, “What do you mean at the end?” before Padros responded, “We are on it.”

But while this looked like another case of high tensions within the Ferrari team, Vasseur has explained that at least some of the annoyance was down to a faulty radio system.

“We were not able to understand what he said because he had an issue with the microphone,” Vasseur told the media. “I don’t know if you aware but I don’t think that you were, we were unable to understand perfectly.

“He was not emotional but he was worried about the pace.”

The microphone issue then was one of a number of “mistakes” that Ferrari made in Hungary and something Vasseur wants to eliminate.

“First we will need time to understand what we did right and wrong because the format was different and it’s not so easy to analyse the perfect weekend and you need to get all the results to be able to do a reliable engineering on this,” the 55-year-old said.

“But I think on our side it’s much more the fact that we made too many mistakes from the beginning to the end. It’s not just about the pit stop or the pit entry or the Qualy yesterday or the management of the tyres, at the end the potential was probably better than what we showed yesterday, and then, at least with Charles, we lost 20 seconds on the race.”

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Vasseur was confident though that his viewpoint was one shared by other team principals.

“I spent the last 35 years of my life on the pit wall and every single Monday of my career we go through a list of mistakes,” he said. “The job of the team principal is to do the list with the team members and to fix it.

“I’m very open with you to say we are doing too many mistakes. I think it’s true that if you ask the same question to Toto [Wolff] he will be on approximately the same line as me.”

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