Ferrari: Leclerc Acknowledges Mistake Regarding F1 Strategy Criticisms
Initially, Leclerc expressed his frustration with Ferrari after being eliminated from Q2 in Montreal due to their failure to take advantage of improving track conditions.
At the beginning of the session, Leclerc went out on intermediate tires but quickly realized that slicks would be more suitable as the track was drying up.
However, the team instructed him to complete a banker lap before changing tires, despite Leclerc’s request for an immediate switch.
Unfortunately, by the time he returned to the track, the rain had returned, making it impossible for him to set a competitive time and advance to the final Q3 shootout.
After the qualifying session, Leclerc voiced his disappointment, criticizing the decision to delay switching to slicks and urging Ferrari to avoid such mistakes in the future.
“I believe we are unnecessarily complicating our lives,” he expressed to the media. “In situations like these, I had a clear opinion, but we decided to do something else. So, I am frustrated.”
Leclerc further emphasized the need for improvement, stating, “We must surpass these errors and ensure they are not repeated. I will discuss this with the team.”
However, following discussions between Leclerc and Ferrari to clarify the situation and explain why his request was denied, it became evident that the Monegasque driver had quickly changed his perspective on what had transpired.
Once the reasoning behind Ferrari’s decision was explained to him, taking into account the rapidly changing weather conditions, Leclerc understood that the pit wall had made the correct call. He realized that it was not the choice of tires that caused his elimination, as several other teams had made the same decision.
Team Principal Fred Vasseur stressed that the situation behind closed doors was significantly different from how it appeared when Leclerc first exited the car, as he was unaware of the factors involved.
During discussions with selected media outlets, including F1 Flow.com, Vasseur shared his insights on the matter, stating, “We had a constructive conversation, and he [Leclerc] admitted, ‘Okay, I was wrong.'”
“As the team principal, I always strive to protect my drivers and the team. I understand that when they step out of the car after poor results and are asked about their satisfaction with the strategy, they naturally respond negatively.”
“You will never hear drivers say, ‘Yes, it was superb. I messed up, but it was superb.'”
Vasseur emphasized the importance of open communication between the drivers and the team before public statements are made. He described the post-qualifying discussion as calm, constructive, and direct.
Regarding Ferrari’s analysis of the qualifying session, Vasseur clarified that the choice of tires was not the decisive factor in their elimination, as the majority of other teams adopted the same strategy.
“We followed the same strategy as 90% of the cars, so Charles was mainly disappointed with the car’s performance,” Vasseur explained.
When asked about the disagreements expressed over team radio, Vasseur considered them to be normal occurrences.
“It is quite normal for drivers to have a different perception from the pitwall,” he commented.
“While we must trust their intuition to some extent, we also need to consider the overall picture of what other teams are doing. When you are in the hairpin or the last corner [in Montreal], you are unaware of the actions of other drivers.”
“A collective decision must be made. Sometimes it proves to be correct, and sometimes it does not. There is no definitive way to resolve it. It cannot solely rely on the drivers because they might miss a crucial detail, such as a car stopping on the track. Therefore, it must be a joint decision.”
“It is not always easy, and luck can also play a role. In qualifying, I believe our strategy was sufficient to make it to Q3, as it aligned with the strategies of 90% of the teams.”
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about F1 strategy
Q: Why was Leclerc frustrated with Ferrari’s strategy in the F1 qualifying session?
A: Leclerc was frustrated because he believed that the team’s decision to delay switching to slick tires during changing track conditions was a mistake, preventing him from setting a competitive time and advancing to the final Q3 shootout.
Q: Did Leclerc change his opinion after discussing the situation with Ferrari?
A: Yes, after discussions with Ferrari, Leclerc understood the reasoning behind their decision. He realized that the pitwall had made the right call considering the rapidly changing weather conditions. He accepted that it was not the tire choice that caused his elimination, as several other teams made the same decision.
Q: How did Ferrari respond to Leclerc’s criticisms?
A: Ferrari’s team principal, Fred Vasseur, emphasized the importance of open communication between the drivers and the team. Following a calm and constructive conversation, Leclerc admitted his mistake and acknowledged that he was wrong in his initial criticism.
Q: Was the tire choice the key factor in Ferrari’s elimination from Q2?
A: No, Ferrari’s analysis revealed that the tire choice was not the decisive factor. The majority of other teams adopted the same strategy, indicating that it was mainly Leclerc’s disappointment with the car’s performance that led to their elimination.
Q: How does Ferrari approach decision-making in qualifying?
A: Ferrari believes that decision-making should be a collective effort. While they consider the drivers’ perspectives, they also take into account the overall picture of what other teams are doing. They aim for a common decision-making process to minimize errors and rely on a combination of intuition, team analysis, and sometimes, luck.