Ferrari call left Leclerc frustrated by ‘shitty situation’
By Mat Coch
Sunday 18th June, 2023 - 10:17am
Charles Leclerc was left frustrated by the Ferrari pit wall, which left him in a “shitty situation” during Qualifying for the Canadian Grand Prix.
Leclerc was a high-profile elimination from Qualifying 2, along with Red Bull’s Sergio Perez, when he was caught on the wrong tyre.
Fast-changing conditions rewarded those who braved an early switch to slicks in the second part of the three-part qualifying hour.
With rain increasing in the final minutes, Leclerc was caught without a representative time on slicks to his name.
The Monegasque driver was critical of his team, revealing he called for dry tyres but was instructed against the immediate switch.
“I called for slicks on the out lap; it was clearly [ready] for slicks,” he explained.
“I think Alex [Albon] did that and went earlier than everybody on the slicks and that was clearly the right choice.
“There was no risk taken whatsoever,” he added.
“For some reason, the team decided otherwise. That’s it.
“We are just making our life way too difficult, and in those situations, I had a clear opinion, and we decided to do something else. So I am frustrated.”
Leclerc added that he intended to take the matter up with the team after feeling he could have done nothing more to make himself clearer.
“I think there was no clearer way of expressing myself this time,” he reasoned.
“But I will speak internally with the team and try to understand what we can do because it’s obviously not the first time that in those situations we are a bit on the wrong side.
“We have to be better than that and we cannot afford to do those mistakes again. So I’ll speak with the team.”
By delaying the move to slicks, Leclerc missed the best of the conditions and compromised on his out lap.
“You’re just making yourself in a shitty situation because you are depending a lot on traffic, on your out lap on the slicks,” he explained.
“If you have people on inters coming behind when it’s raining and that you are slowing down a little bit, you are sliding everywhere.
“So it’s just not an ideal situation and it was so much easier to go earlier.
“But again, it’s like this.”
The 25-year-old conceded that the pit wall was in the best place to make the decision on the tyres, but that his expertise should have been considered more than it was.
“I clearly said my opinion, more than that, I cannot really do,” he said.
“I have no idea what Alex is doing in terms of lap times with the slicks – maybe he’s five seconds off, and I don’t know, but I had a clear opinion.
“You cannot be aware of everything that is going on on track,” he added.
“Seeing how fast [Albon] was, maybe we should have thought twice about coming in.”
Though he qualified 11th, Leclerc will start 10th after team-mate Carlos Sainz was penalised for impeding Pierre Gasly.
The Canadian Grand Prix begins at 14:00 local time (04:00 AEST Monday).