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Leclerc: Divided Ferrari suggestions "untrue" amid Binotto Monaco talks

Charles Leclerc says suggestions Ferrari has been left divided after its Silverstone Formula 1 errors are "untrue", as it emerged he met with boss Mattia Binotto in Monaco this week.

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, speaks to the media

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, speaks to the media

Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

The Monegasque driver was left hugely disappointed after the British Grand Prix when a late call to pit team-mate Carlos Sainz rather than himself ended up costing him the chance of a podium finish.

Having been left frustrated earlier in the race that Ferrari did not move Sainz out of the way after feeling he was quicker, Leclerc was clear that he wanted some clarity from his squad about the decisions it took.

The strategy calls, and a post-race intervention from Binotto in chatting to Leclerc in the pitlane, prompted speculation of friction within the Ferrari camp at a time when it has lost momentum to rival Red Bull in the title chase.

But Leclerc says any claims of differences of opinion within Maranello are wide of the mark, as he says there is a world of difference between being disappointed about a race result and that triggering other problems.

Asked by Autosport about the suggestions from Italian media of divisions within Ferrari, Leclerc said: "This is really untrue. And I wish I didn't have to get [into this] because this is the exact question I've got everywhere else. And I wish I wouldn't need to fight for these types of things.

"We are extremely united. Is there a disappointment after the last race because we finished first and fourth? Yes, there was.

"Were we very, very happy that Carlos won his first race? Yes, we were honestly.

PLUS: The five factors behind Sainz winning a British GP he’d twice lost

"But obviously before the safety car, you are first and second and you finish the race first and fourth. So there's some kind of disappointment too. But there's not any kind of division inside the team, that's for sure."

The Safety Car Charles Leclerc, Ferrari F1-75, Carlos Sainz, Ferrari F1-75

The Safety Car Charles Leclerc, Ferrari F1-75, Carlos Sainz, Ferrari F1-75

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Leclerc confirmed that he met privately with Binotto in Monaco this week for a dinner in the wake of what happened at the British GP.

However, he said the talks were more part of regular catch ups he has with his boss away from the track, and had been prompted by a recent run of difficulties that involved more than the British GP.

Asked about the Binotto chat in the pits in Silverstone, and in Monaco, Leclerc said: "Well, obviously there's been quite a lot of talks about the two events in the last few days.

"He was first quite angry with me after Silverstone, because he saw me extremely down, which obviously he understood.

PLUS: How Ferrari’s Monaco headache became its Silverstone migraine

"But he just wanted to make sure that I was okay, and that I realised that I had done also an amazing job considering the situation I found myself in after the safety car.

"Then in Monaco, this is something that we usually do. He came to Monaco, because the last five races have been quite hard on me.

"And I just wanted to stay home, disconnect a bit from everything, to be fully 100 per-cent for this weekend."

Leclerc says Ferrari knows it could have done a better job with its strategy calls in the British GP, and has changed some of its communication protocols from this weekend to try to ensure no repeat problems in the future.

"For me personally, I think there's nothing I could have done differently in a way," he said.

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Mattia Binotto, Team Principal, Ferrari

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Mattia Binotto, Team Principal, Ferrari

Photo by: Ferrari

"As a team, I think we have changed already a few things, just in the way of the communication throughout the race to be ready in that particular moment.

"Once a safety car is out, then you need to take a decision, and if you're not ready for that, then it is tricky. So yeah, as a team, we have changed a few things and I won't go too much into detail."

Asked if he had pushed for a change of team orders to help prioritise him in the championship fight, he said: "It's not up to me to say anything about it."

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