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Formula 1 Canadian GP

Leclerc slates continued Ferrari F1 "mistakes"

A frustrated Charles Leclerc says his Ferrari Formula 1 team “cannot afford to do those mistakes” after he failed to progress out of Q2 at the Canadian GP.

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF-23

Leclerc reported early on his out lap that the line looked dry and later said, “I think we should box for softs,” only to be told, "Verstappen stayed out.”

He then repeated his request for softs before adding, “Let me know if you want me to put a lap in,” after which the team made it clear that he should log a banker lap on the intermediates, which he then did before pitting.

Alex Albon was the only driver to start Q2 on slicks and put in a time that remained at the top of the timesheets when the session ended.

Asked by Autosport if he had switched to slicks too late, Leclerc said: "Well, this for sure.

“I mean, I called for slicks on the out lap, it was clearly for slicks. I think Alex did that and went earlier than everybody on the slicks. And that was clearly the right choice.

“There was no risk taken whatsoever. For some reason, the team decided otherwise. That's it. I think we are just making our life way too difficult. And in those situations, I had a clear opinion. And yeah, we decided to do something else. So I am frustrated.

“Having said that other drivers did the same strategy as us and went through Q3. But you are just relying on small details instead of an easy Q2 going through. When the track is dry, you need slick tyres. And I don't know what happened."

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF-23

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF-23

Photo by: Patrick Vinet / Motorsport Images

Asked if he could have done anything more to convince the team to let him pit Leclerc added: "I think there was no clearer way of expressing myself this time. So no.

“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,

"I don't want to comment on it too much. But we have to be better than that. And we cannot afford to do those mistakes again. So I'll speak with the team."

Leclerc stressed that it wasn’t a question of the team following Albon’s progress on slicks as he was convinced it was dry enough.

"Again, 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.

“Obviously, Alex was fast. So again, I have to understand what the target was in doing that. What was the aim? Because the track was dry."

He added: "You cannot be aware of everything that is going on on track. But seeing how fast [Albon] was, maybe we should have thought twice about coming in."

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As Q2 entered its final phase, the rain returned and gradually intensified, making slick tyre running extremely difficult. 

Acknowledging this task was "really tricky," the Ferrari driver continued: "But again, you're just making yourself in a shitty situation because you are depending a lot on traffic, on your out lap on the slicks.

“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."

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