Unearthed Charles Leclerc radio lays bare Canadian GP frustrations

Michelle Foster
Charles Leclerc speaking with Ferrari engineer

Charles Leclerc's Canadian GP retirement "hurt"

A wretched weekend in Canada ended with Charles Leclerc sarcastically celebrating the team’s order to retire his power-less Ferrari SF-24 on lap 40.

Failing to make it out of Q2 at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Ferrari knew they had a battle on their hands to score good points.

Charles Leclerc: That is a good idea

However, that came to nought when both cars retired with Leclerc out due to an engine issue while Carlos Sainz crashed.

It was a frustrating race for the Monegasque driver who, having won last time out in Monaco, went into the Canadian Grand Prix weekend confident about his and Ferrari’s chances.

His race though was undone by an engine issue early in the grand prix that cost him time on the straights, the driver revealing he was losing over a second per lap.

Already dealing with that issue, his frustrations boiled over in his radio chatter with his new race engineer Bryan Bozzi when the call was made to swap to slicks despite more rain on the horizon.

Leclerc was caught out.

Leclerc: Shall we box again? It’s raining too much.
Engineer: It’s only, it’s going to last only one, two laps.
Leclerc: For f**ksake, it’s raining too much. I’m losing like 10 seconds a lap.
Engineer: Copy. We box for inters.

But as the engine issue continued to hamper his progress, he reported: If we are losing 1.5 seconds on the straight, then there’s no f**king point. I want to stop.

Ferrari eventually called him on lap 40 to retire the car.

Engineer: And Charles, we will retire the car. We will retire the car.
Leclerc: Yay! That is a good idea.
Engineer: Copy.

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Leclerc admitted this one “hurt” as Ferrari were forced to retire both cars and lost points to Red Bull and McLaren in the standings.

“I don’t know what happened,” he said of his engine troubles. “I think it was six-tenths, but then some laps it was 1.2 seconds, sometimes it was 1.5 seconds.

“Every time I went on power, I did not know what I would get.

“First of all, it was very difficult to drive. It was very frustrating because on the straights I got overtaken by everybody.

“And it was very annoying, because I had 10 or 15 switches per lap to change to try and reset everything and to try to make it work.”

Leclerc’s DNF coupled with Max Verstappen saw the Ferrari driver slip 54 points behind the championship leader after nine races.

He added to the official F1 website: “As much as we didn’t overreact after Monaco, we shouldn’t overreact after this one, but this one hurts.

“It’s big points for the team that we’re going to lose against our competitors.”

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